Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sharp-Fanged Succubus

By Chase Kahn

Karyn Kusama's Jennifer's Body (20th Century Fox, 09.18.09), the next project from stripper-turned-screenwriter Diablo Cody, is getting some feedback today as the film premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival (kicking off today).

Tim Grierson's Screen Daily review is harmlessly mixed -- "Though clever and generally amusing, the horror-comedy runs into problems on the fright front." He continues, "director Karyn Kusama and star Megan Fox seems uncertain if they're satirising the conventions of teen-gore fests or simply catering to their core audience's expectations."

Variety's Justin Chang is less mild-mannered. He says the film tackles its premise with, "eye-rolling obviousness and, fatally, a near-total absence of real scares." Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere didn't provide any significant writing sample of the film, but simply says that, "I wouldn't submit again with a knife at my back."

I don't really approve of these horror-comedy schlock-fests. Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell was a mildly amusing, mildly threatening, low-rent thing. I don't really get watching intentionally bad movies squarely playing up the tongue-in-cheek angle. There is a scene near the end of Drag Me to Hell -- involving a seance, a demon and a goat, that is so blatantly stupid I was stunned.

I have a feeling Jennifer's Body is made of this mold and early reviews say that even it doesn't know what it wants to be.

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