In terms of disappointing box office numbers, there was no greater hyped failure this year than Jennifer’s Body. Advertised as a edgy horror film with the easily marketable Megan Fox, the film head actress did most of the advertising for the film…although even that wasn’t enough. Reviews came out that the film was not scary in the least and in fact quite a mindless and comedic ride. Although it was clear from the trailers that the film would be tongue-in-cheek, moviegoers apparently didn’t care to see the main actresses put their tongues in each other’s cheeks as the film made just enough back to recoup its budget…and little else.
In every school there’s one girl, every girl wants to be friends with…and every guy would die for. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents a “student body” with a ferocious bite when Jennifer’s Body arrives on unrated Blu-ray Disc (BD) and DVD December 29. Sexy temptress Megan Fox (Transformers) is hotter than hell as Jennifer, a gorgeous, seductive cheerleader who takes evil to a whole new level after she’s possessed by a sinister demon. Steamy action and gore galore ensue as the male student body succumbs to Jennifer’s insatiable appetite for human flesh. Now it’s up to her best friend (Amanda Seyfried; Mamma Mia!) to stop the demonic diva’s reign of terror before it’s too late!
It’s easy to bash this film because it was advertised as little else than a vehicle for Megan Fox to show off her body. But while that it is present in the film…quite honestly all that there was to Fox strutting her stuff was shown in the trailers. In fact, all of the scary moments and sexed up tidbits were given away in the trailer, leaving most of the film with little else to offer up. Well, that’s not true—what wasn’t advertised relentlessly on TV I did really enjoy and that’s part of the reason why I ended up digging this film quite a bit—not because it was a fantastic film by any means, but more than a horror film this was a dark comedy and I’ve yet to see one of those that was received well by movie reviewers or audience goers.
The film is flawed to be sure. Most of those flaws are due to the paper-thin plot that barely holds up as it wears on and some of Diablo Cody’s kitschy dialogue that made Juno such a hit is a bit cringe worthy here…but even through those moments, there’s still a little diamond amidst all the coal that this film piles up on the screen. It’s hard to really discern what I liked about the film, as the things that are “wrong” with it stand out more than anything else. Which, again, is something odd to say about a film that you enjoyed…but I digress. As played out and tired as the film feels at times, it manages to be entertaining and fresh in a sci-fi/horror kind of way. I mean it’s obvious that the whole angle of this film is to boast about how hot Fox, but as much as I may agree with that sentiment that’s not enough to get me to pay attention to a film (hell, I still don’t own Transformers 2).
One area of the film that I felt was weakest was the presentation of Jennifer’s possession. While the trailers made the film look as if she’d always been possessed, it was actually something that happened to her early on in the film itself. It was an interesting transformation and the whole ritual in which she was sacrificed was really what sold me on the movie. It was dark, twisted, and quite hilarious as it ended with the band members singing “867‒5309/Jenny” to Megan Fox’s character…which I thought was just a serious cherry topping to that whole scene. I had infinitely more respect for the film after that as it didn’t just feel like a run-of-the-mill outing anymore. Of course that sequence was immediately followed by a Seyfried/Fox make-out scene, but…still.
There’s plenty to dislike about this film and tear apart, but I think most of the dislike and questionable feelings about this film stem from way it was advertised. I know I’ve mentioned that numerous times now, but that really is a key factor when it comes to this movie. Early buzz and publicity for the film was limited to on-set photos of Megan Fox in various states of undress and aside from the fact that Cody had written it, there was very little else to go on. When the trailers came out and made the film look like a weak-on-plot (which, admittedly, it is…just not quite as weak as the end result actually was) horror flick that was just an excuse for Fox to prance around, it seriously just pigeonholed it into the disaster category. To be truthful I don’t know how they could’ve marketed the film better—it’s dark and quirky and because of that there’s only so many angles you can take and as much as the film is hardly a horror or a comedy, advertising it as either would’ve been disingenuous. Perhaps something more akin to Zombieland’s advertising would’ve been better…who knows.
So the film itself was quite a disappointment theatrically, but it did make its budget back at least so it wasn’t a complete bust. I’m sure it’ll rake in quite a few curiosity rentals and purchases, which is good because it is genuinely a pretty entertaining film. It’s definitely a mixed genre film and while there’s plenty of violence and gore, there isn’t enough to turn off the squeamish. Although there are a couple of shots of Megan Fox in her demonic state that are generally quite disturbing looking (one in particular she looks like a vulture over a corpse…freaky shot), but overall it’s more a dark comedy than anything. And if you enjoy those kinds of movies, you’ll likely find this one to be Recommended. In any case I can see this one becoming a cult classic years down the road.
Fox brings Jennifer’s Body to Blu-ray in a standard Elite Eco two-disc case. If you were looking to get a glimpse of Fox in her various outfits in the film, then look no further than this packaging as the cover, disc art, digital copy disc art, and insert for the digital copy code are all different pictures. Most you’ve seen before in promotional material, but a few were new to me, so it’s cool they didn’t just recycle the same piece of art for everything. Other than that the packaging presentation is pretty basic.
Video arrives in the form of an AVC encoded (@26mbps) transfer that…well, what do you expect, really? This is a new film, a Fox title and it’s on Blu-ray…of course it’s going to look good. Both versions are included on the disc, but it’s nothing that affects the performance of the transfer, as it looks solid from start to finish. It’s a very dark film, but even with the grain that accompanies the picture at times, it’s still a very solid and crisp looking picture nonetheless.
Audio is a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and while it features plenty of bass from the music included in the film, it rarely does much else with the subwoofer or surrounds. It’s a dialogue driven movie, but whenever sound effects do crop up there is some directionality to them. It’s not a flawless track, but it does sound pretty good with crystal clear dialogue pouring out of the fronts.
Audio Commentary with Director Karyn Kusama and Writer Diablo Cody (Theatrical Cut)
Audio Commentary with Director Karyn Kusama (Unrated Cut)
Deleted Scenes (13:56, 1080p, Six Total)
Gag Reel (4:55, SD)
Jennifer’s Body: The Dead Pool (14:01, 1080i)
Video Diaries (12:51, 1080i, Four total)
Megan Fox is Hot (0:56, 1080i)
Megan Fox “Peer Pressure” PSA (0:41, SD)
Fox Movie Channel Presents ‘Life After Film School’ With Writer Diablo Cody (26:27, SD)
First off the dual audio commentaries are a nice touch, although the lack of actor participation is a bit disappointing. There’s some cool information dropped here, although enjoying the movie in the first place is going to go a long way in even wanting to listen to one of the tracks, let alone two. The deleted scenes are pretty much a wash as far as usefulness goes and the Gag Reel is a giant waste of time as it ends up being just a mish mash of behind the scenes footage with a few flubbed lines in the beginning. “The Dead Pool” serves as the overall making of, although most of it (and the Video Diaries) are all shot at the final pool sequence in the film so that explains its name. The “Peer Pressure PSA” was quite humorous, although the “is Hot” extra may have been the most pointless and stupid extra I’ve ever seen. It’s literally just clips of Fox from the movie, that we’ve all seen a ridiculous amount of times already…so it’s really a giant waste of time.
Overall the extras are incredibly lacking here, as there are very few cast and crew interviews. The candid moments brought about by the video diaries was cool, but for the most part it’s a rather boring mixture of extras. You may want to Rent this disc first before locking it in for a purchase, especially with such a varied amount of opinions surrounding it.
Jennifer’s Body: Unrated is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.