The teen horror wave ebbs and flows, arriving in a suffocating fits as it did during the late-'90s, kick-started by Scream, or trickling out like blood from open artery on a nearly dried out corpse as it has been doing the last few years with Stay Alive, When a Stranger Calls and Prom Night. Now, director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) and the spunky Juno team of Jason Reitman (co-producer) and writer Diablo Cody are setting out to put their own stamp on this sub-genre that will never die with Jennifer's Body. The difference with this one? Well, plenty of things, but most notably...it's rated R. For blood, breasts and a body count (albeit a small one), if you must know.
"This is a horror movie. Not to sound like a pretentious douchebag, but it's a horror movie made by filmmakers, by people who genuinely love film," affirms Academy Award-winning Cody speaking to ShockTillYouDrop.com on the Vancouver set. "Karyn Kusama is a total horror geek, I'm a horror geek, the producers are into this stuff. This was not a mercenary effort to make it seem like something that fit a profile. We wanted to make a horror movie and we're totally respectful of the films that come before us and I think people will see that in the finish product." If the film was playing at the New Beverly Cinema, Hollywood's revival house known for spinning grindhouse classics, what would best compliment it during a double-feature? Cody answers with a grin, "I would say either The Virgin Suicides, Suspiria, Creepshow, Carrie, Just One of the Guys or Ginger Snaps."
Body is two days out from wrapping principal photography when this writer drops in to visit this tale of a Minnesota cheerleader named Jennifer (played by Megan Fox) who is sacrificed to the devil by a rock band seeking fame. As a result, she is possessed by a demon that needs to feed on flesh regularly to sustain its strength. "I intended it to be gorier, a little more exploitative, a little more lurid. There are so many more talented people involved [in the film] that it has become a little more atmospheric, creepier and maybe a little more high brow and that's cool," says Cody.
Today, sadly, there is no boy buffet laid out and certainly no ravenous feasting on Fox's behalf to be had. Instead, the actress is joined by co-star Amanda Seyfried (playing "Needy," Jennifer's awkward BFF) for an early sequence in the film in which the girls swing by an all-ages show featuring the band Low Shoulder (frontman: actor Adam Brody as Nikolai). The shot is barbed with that Cody-esque dialogue audiences got a taste of in Juno.
"What happens in the movie is you're dealing with two best friends at the core of the film who have been best friends since they were little growing up," explains producer Daniel Dubieki. "Throughout their high school time they realize their best friendship has come to a head. They're different people than they once were, their relationship isn't about the innocence of being little girls any more, and life is affecting them. And now this manifests in a very horrific experience. They're dropped into the middle of the most horrific thing they could deal with in this small town and now they've got to deal with it."
The cast and crew we talk to throughout the day are in agreement on two film titles when it comes to speaking about Body's tone: A Nightmare on Elm Street and Rosemary's Baby. "Horror films today are so cold and abrasive - don't get me wrong, I can appreciate them on a level, but what this movie's going to do is remind you of the nostalgic feeling of the late-'70s and early-'80s," adds Dubieki.
"Some of the true classics are driven by female characters," continues Kusama, who cites Dario Argento's broad artistic palette as an influence on her approach to Cody's prickly stab at the genre. "For me, horror films and feminism as an idea are fairly complimentary. So, this felt like a great opportunity to make a movie like this. A movie like Rosemary's Baby or Nightmare on Elm Street. Or you can read the first Halloween as part of a tradition of seeing the horror of the world through female eyes."
Shock spoke with Seyfried, co-producers Reitman and Mason Novick and others during our stay on Jennifer's Body (coming soon from 20th Century Fox) so keep your peepers peeled for an in-depth set report!
Source: Ryan Rotten