Way back on Thursday night at Comic Con, 20th Century Fox held a special press-only peek at 15 minutes from Jennifer’s Body followed by a press conference with star Megan Fox, writer Diablo Cody, director Karyn Kusama and producer Jason Reitman. The event was held late at night and was followed by a cocktail party and considering I had to be up early for the next morning, it was the one event that didn’t get posted in order, but I am here today to start wrapping up the loose ends from the convention.
To begin with, the 15 minutes of footage where a continuous 15 minutes from the beginning of the film — “about ten minutes in,” Kusama told us — and did a decent job establishing the mood of the film, the dialogue and the set-up of the characters.
NOTE: The following three paragraphs spoil the 15 minutes I watched. It’s nothing major, but I thought you would want to know.
It was immediately evident Cody’s brand of dialogue will carryover from Juno, but may not be as consistent, which is both good and bad. Like many of you the continuous use of catchphrases in Juno began to get on my nerves a bit, but in the 15 minutes of Jennifer’s Body we watched there was only one instance and it happened early on as Jennifer (Fox) and Needy Lesnicky (Seyfried) were heading out for the night and Needy’s boyfriend (I’m pretty sure it was Johnny Simmons) was telling her not to go to which Jennifer said, “You’re just jealous you’re not invited. You’re jell… Oh so jell-o.” or something along those lines, but I think you get my point. No harm, no foul. It wasn’t necessarily funny and I wouldn’t even mention it had it not been a Cody script. However, there is a glorious line of dialogue once Jennifer and Needy get to the bar (yes, they are high schoolers, but the issue is addressed).
At the bar a band is playing, frontlined by Nikolai Wolf played by Adam Brody (“The O.C.”) and he has caught Jennifer’s eye. After a brief conversation she offers to buy him a drink and heads to the bar… the bar where Diablo Cody has a brief cameo as the bartender. While away Needy overhears Nikolai asking his bandmate if he thinks Jennifer is a girl who will put out or if she is a small town virgin just playing games. Needy quickly rushes to her friend’s defense and says something like, “Yes, she’s a virgin! And she won’t be having sex with a creep like you!” and she storms off to tell Jennifer who is returning with the red, white and blue shots.
“I told him you were a virgin,” Needy says and Jennifer replies in a mousy airhead tone, “What? But I’m not even a backdoor virgin thanks to [him], which by the way really hurts. I had to sit on a bag of frozen peas the entire next day.” It was the stand-out line of the footage coming entirely out of left field. After that, the bar burns down, Jennifer leaves with the band only to return to Needy’s house later that night covered in blood. She then devours a cooked chicken from the fridge and then vomits black goo all over Needy.
If I had to say how I felt about what I saw I would say it was rather so-so, but definitely showed promise. Seeing an early bit of 15 minutes of any movie without the ten that preceded it means we are watching these characters without their introductions and what I expect will be a little more of that Diablo Cody wit, which was actually missed in the 15 minutes they showed. I was hoping for more dialogue and expect it will be there in the final product.
In talking about how she developed the script Cody told us, “When I first set out to write this, I intended to write something very dark, very brooding, a traditional slasher movie, and then I realized about a third of the way into the process I was incapable of doing that because the humor just kept sneaking in. I have a macabre sense of humor. A lot of the things in the movie that are horrifying are funny to me. I’ve always said that I think comedy films and horror films are kind of similar in the sense that you can actually witness the audience having a physical release. They’re laughing, they’re screaming, it’s not a passive experience.”
Megan Fox echoed a lot of what Cody said in her impression of her character and why she chose the role,”It’s fun to be able to say the shit that she got to say and get away with it and have people find it charming.”
Fans of old school horror films will probably be happy to hear many of the effects in the film are practical and won’t be filled with a bunch of CG. “I think we appreciate those kind of effects in older movies and I question sometimes how much more effective it is to use a ton of CG,” Kusama said. “So we always started with a practical effect and then moved forward from there to lay a groundwork of something that’s actually physically, materially there.”
On top of that, it appears this will be the first time since Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen we actually see Megan Fox act, and she even recognizes the fact saying, “Well, obviously, there’s not distractions, like there’s no robots to distract you from whatever performance I do give. So, if it’s terrible, you’re gonna fucking know that it’s really terrible. That, of course, is intimidating but I think the character was so much fun for me. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I was just trying to have fun with it and I felt like I was able to make fun of my own image as to how some people might perceive Megan Fox to be. I was just sort of flying freely and I hope some of it works.”
The next question allowed a bit more of the Megan Fox we have all read in interviews prior to the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen come out when someone asked her how sexy the movie will be. “Oh this movie is so sexy. You better put on your fucking sexy shoes for this movie,” she joked. “I mean, there’s a relationship that happens. There’s a relationship between my character and Amanda’s character that is, I guess, depending on who you are, either a common relationship that you grew up with or not but there’s a little bit of a lesbian relationship that happens. There’s a girl-on-girl kiss. I feel like it’s an homage to that but also we poke fun at how common that is in horror movies. Beyond that, before every kill there’s a seduction that occurs. These boys have to be seduced into getting close enough to this dead girl for her to devour them. So it does get [sexy]. I think I’m pretty sexy in it.”
Jennifer’s Body hits theaters on September 18, 2009. For more on the film including a look at our gallery of seven images click here. I have added the red band trailer directly below.