While not without its faults, "Jennifer's Body" may have been a victim of its own hype, as the film marked writer Diablo Cody's follow-up to the indie hit, "Juno". "Jennifer's" is an irreverent, dark riff on teen films, with a bit of comedy, some horror and a few servings of drama. Taken on its own terms, it works reasonably well.
After the brief opening, the film introduces Jennifer Check (Megan Fox), the queen bee of a small town high school who's the head cheerleader and most popular girl in school. She's trailed by Needy Lesnicky (Amanda Seyfried), who's been Jennifer's friend since childhood. However, the two couldn't be more different, but the mousy Needy and the sleek Jennifer seem to have something of a bond and one seems to rely on the other.
However, one night the two find themselves at a dive bar and the place mysteriously goes up in flames. Afterwards, Jennifer wanders off with the sleazy lead singer (Adam Brody, playing sleazy superbly) of the band who was playing. However, when Jennifer shows up at her house in bad shape later that evening, Needy finds out that something is not quite right with her friend - especially when Jennifer growls at her like she's possessed by Zul and then throws up a giant batch of black goo.
Soon enough, it becomes quite apparent to Needy that her childhood friend is inhabited by a demon - a demon who is actually a maneater. Yet, in the form of Fox, she has no trouble seducing the males of the town into her trap. In one darkly funny moment, animals gather around her and a male student in the forest, seemingly warning him to get the hell out of there.
Jennifer keeps on going, and the movie keeps on throwing out pop culture references (the most unexpected of which is a nod to "Aquamarine", the teen comedy from a couple of years ago.) However, when she gets to Chip (Johnny Simmons) - Needy's boyfriend - Needy tries to put an end to Jennifer first.
The film certainly has horror elements, but doesn't manage too much in the way of scares - the movie is a hybrid, blending a bit of teen drama, a bit dark comedy and some horror. One of the film's faults is that it never quite navigates the blending of comedy and horror quite well, and the humor and horror elements feel like two films forced together. Additionally, the picture starts to feel as if it's wandering a bit in the middle.
Still, Cody's screenplay is snappy and clever, with more than a few gems. The performances are also terrific, with Seyfried giving heart and depth to her character, and Fox seemingly enjoying vamping it up. "Jennifer's Body" may not entirely succeed at blending comedy and drama, but it's an interesting attempt with two great lead performances and a fine script.
The Blu-Ray includes both the Blu-Ray edition and a digital copy on an extra disc. Additionally, the Blu-Ray offers both the theatrical cut and longer unrated/extended edition.
VIDEO: "Jennifer's Body" is presented in 1.85:1 (1080p/AVC) by 20th Century Fox. The presentation looked first-rate, as sharpness and detail - with the exception of a few low-light moments - looked splendid. While the picture did display moderate amounts of grain in some scenes, this appeared to be an intentional element of the cinematography and was handled well by the transfer. No edge enhancement or other concerns were noticed. Colors generally looked on the subdued side, but occasional bolder colors looked deep, pure and well-saturated. Overall, this was a very nice transfer from the studio.
SOUND: The film is presented in DTS-HD 5.1. The presentation isn't an all-out assault by any means, but surrounds are put into action during some of the film's most intense sequences to deliver creepy effects and ambience. Audio quality was quite good, with bassy music and clear, well-recorded dialogue.
EXTRAS: Director Karyn Kusama and writer Diablo Cody offer a commentary for the theatrical version of the film, while the director offers her own comedy for the extended edition of the movie. The Cody/Kusama commentary offers some decent insights, but it's otherwise somewhat slow going as the two compliment the film and offer some small talk (Cody offers a tidbit about getting angry emails from Jonas Brothers fans.) I mostly liked the film, but found the commentary difficult to get through.
Also offered are 6 deleted scenes (some interesting tidbits, but these scenes were likely dropped due to time.) A gag reel offers a few laughs, but nothing terrific. "Life After Film School" is a Fox Movie Channel featurette offering an interview with writer Diablo Cody, while "Jennifer's Body: The Dead Pool" is a 15-minute promotional "making of" featurette. We also get a series of brief video diaries - including a pair from Fox and Seyfried. Last, but not least, "Megan Fox is Hot" is a 1-minute clip of the actress, who is also seen in a brief spoof PSA included on the disc. Trailers for other titles from the studio are also offered.
Final Thoughts: "Jennifer's Body" may not entirely succeed at blending comedy and drama, but it's an interesting attempt with two very good lead performances and a fine script. The Blu-Ray edition offers solid audio/video quality and an assortment of minor extras. Recommended.
The Film B-