Horrorfest 2017 Presents: Jennifer’s Body (2009, Karyn Kusama)


“Hell is a teenage girl.”

Jennifer’s Body was another horror movie I viewed on Halloween night in 2017, and was also obtained at Best Buy. The Blu-ray copy I got is still in my possession and it had one of those specialty covers they threw on top to get someone like me to buy it. I’m a sucker for blind buys even if they end up disappointing me, and Karyn Kusama’s film is notably polarizing so of course I had to watch it and see for myself what the buzz was all about. I’m not sure it’s the masterpiece some proclaim it and I don’t think it sucks like many do. In fact I just really liked the movie, and I will probably revisit my copy at some point down the road just to refresh my memory about certain aspects. I’ve softened my stance on second viewings over the years and I find a lot of times they give me another perspective and let me know what I missed the first time. Oh and this movie’s script is both a blessing and a curse, with dialogue that made me laugh, cringe, and shake my head at times.

Say what you will about Megan Fox back then or now, she completely owns this movie. Amanda Seyfried is fantastic too and the pair of them have what could be described as a friendship that turns into bleak obsession and insanity later on. Funny enough Johnny Simmons has the normally written for a woman thankless role as the boyfriend, which is one of this movie’s strengths: it likes to turn some horror and dramatic clichés and flip them around. Despite some dodgy 2000s CGI the kill scenes are pretty freaky and the finale is pretty intense. I’m not a big fan of the movie’s opening narrative bit though just because it seems a little too banal and expected, things that a lot of the movie are not.

If you want to view Adam Brody and a bunch of rockers singing 867-5309 / Jenny before they mercilessly slaughter someone, this is your movie (and that scene is bleakly comedic in all the right and wrong ways). Kusama could have probably gone even farther in tackling the sexes, classism and a number of other issues that were perhaps a bit too much for a largely surface movie such as this one. Yet I really enjoyed Jennifer’s Body, and most of the movie will stick with me for a while. I’m actually glad this never got a sequel even though the end credits eagerly pushed for one.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Mausoleum (1983, Michael Dugan)


Mausoleum was one weird ass movie, ranging from being creepy to very goofy. This is the only type of movie that could be made in the 1980s, when Fulci was still making horror movies and the Italians were doing whatever they wanted. Yet this is an American film, ripping off Bava and Fulci instead of the other way around, while being its own fairly unique film that oddly works. Either you enjoy Mausoleum or you think it’s awful, there is no in-between here. Some elements do not work, other parts are really cool.

The mall death scene is perhaps the film’s highlight, although there are several other memorable death scenes. Bobbie Bresee is great in the main role as Susan, and her demon transformation scenes are really freaky and awesome. The final act is really weird even for a demonic possession movie, and a scene between Susan and her psychiatrist (played by Norman Burton) is nightmare fuel.

However I kind of wished that Michael Dugan, the film’s director, had further explored Susan and her husband Oliver’s (Marjoe Gortner) marriage issues a bit more. I think in better hands this could have been a great film instead of a solid one, yet I still enjoyed it. Perhaps I’m just a sucker for a good old demonic flick.

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