Even some of the better horror films make do with scripts you’d be embarrassed to read as a school assignment.
The same can’t be said for the horror comedy “Jennifer’s Body,” penned by Oscar winner Diablo Cody.
The celebrated screenwriter wisely deflates much of the pressure associated with her first post-”Juno” project, and her ear for tasty dialogue hasn’t diminished a bit.
This “Body” is remarkably thin all the same, despite the presence of Hollywood’s reigning hottie, Megan Fox.
“Body” stars Amanda Seyfried as Needy, a plain Jane student whose pal Jennifer (Fox) has every boy in school dizzy with lust. They make an odd duo. Needy has a steady beau and a basic sense of decency. Jennifer devours nerdy boys for lunch.
Not literally. At least not at first.
Everything changes when Jennifer hooks up with the lead singer of a visiting punk band. Suddenly, students start showing up missing vital organs, and the girls’ school body is in perpetual mourning.
“Jennifer’s Body” may look like a horror film, but there isn’t a scare to be found between the pop culture references and slo-mo shots inspecting Fox’s curves.
Cody’s script feels like an audition for a catch phrase contest. “Morsels” means “boys,” “Jello” means jealous and “Lesbi-gay” means … well, you can figure that out.
The screenplay still delivers more than a few laughs.
“It’s true. It’s on Wikipedia,” one student says. Later, indie rock bands and the school’s overwrought healing process come under heavy attack.
It’s Cody’s story that has no bite.
We can’t fathom why the various characters interact the way they do, save to set up a protracted lesbian kiss. Who didn’t see that coming?
The twist which explains away the supernatural goings on isn’t satisfying, and the story’s pacing slows to a crawl just when the body count starts ramping up.
“Jennifer’s Body” plays out like every other mediocre slasher flick, but Cody’s way with words gives this “Body” an edge.
DID YOU KNOW: Diablo Cody flexed her creative muscles before becoming a Hollywood brand. Her given name is Brook Busey.
HiT Rewind: ‘Jennifer’s Body’ (2009)