Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Diablo Cody
Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody
"Hell is a teenage girl." Jennifer (Megan Fox) and Anita (Amanda Seyfried) are BFFs, despite the former being your typical hot chick and the latter an even more typical nerd. Indie band Low Shoulder (lead singer Nikolai played by Adam Brody) comes to their podunk Minnesota town looking for a virgin to sacrifice to Satan so the band can hit it big, so they kidnap Jennifer. (I'm not making this up; if I were, I'd be the one making the Hollywood bucks.) It turns out that if a non-virgin gets sacrificed, a demon will forever occupy the body, forcing that person to forever walk the earth, feasting on flesh (and apparently spewing out black ferromagnetic fluid from time to time). On the plus side, they get an awesome healing factor, a la Wolverine ("That's some X-men shit, right?"). So the best friend is forced to track down the newly-made femme fatale and put an end to her havoc.
Despite being written by stripper-cum-screenwriter Diablo Cody (who has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as a bartender) and having J.K. Simmons in a supporting role (sporting a full head of hair and Minnesota accent), this film is no Juno, and even Cody acknowledges that with a line about only being socially relevant two years in the past. It does bear the usual Cody trademarks (phrases like "tragedy boner" are present, though diminished; Jennifer is sacrificed to Tommy Tutone's "867-5309"), so take that for what it's worth. I can definitely promise it's a more memorable film than the director's last work, 2005's Aeon Flux. Despite missing the mark slightly as far as the elusive horror/comedy genre (think Shaun of the Dead) goes, it acknowledges films that came before it, including Exorcist, Heathers, and Evil Dead. There's one scene I really liked technically that cross-cuts from Anita and her boyfriend having sex to Jennifer (in silhouette) enjoying one of her victims. Amy Sedaris also has an all-too-brief scene as the self-described "hard-ass Ford-tough mama bear" of Anita. The film's also apparently about toxic friendships between women according to the director, but that went totally over my head. That's why you come to be for move reviews, right? My hard-hitting, in-depth discussion?
And for the love of all that is holy, don't be a bad audience like some of the people I was seeing the movie with. If you're not mature enough to handle certain things teenagers are apt to do without hooting and hollering, don't see this in theaters. Overall judgment: worth matinee price, and a DVD purchase if the commentary's good, but the $8.75 I paid was a bit steep.