Home > Reviews > JENNIFER’S BODY – Theodore Shapiro and Stephen Barton

JENNIFER’S BODY – Theodore Shapiro and Stephen Barton

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A lascivious comedy horror from Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama, Jennifer’s Body stars the delectable Megan Fox as the eponymous high school cheerleader who, following an encounter with a member of a rock band whose bite is worse than his bark, becomes a literal man-eater, and begins seducing, and then slaughtering her male classmates. The film, which also stars Amanda Seyfried as Jennifer’s geeky best friend Needy and Johnny Simmons as the ill-fated boyfriend Chip, has an original score co-composed by Theodore Shapiro and Stephen Barton.

Channeling its self-aware, hipster attitude, the score is actually a rather unconventional horror effort; low on theme, high on atmosphere, and with a definite rocker’s edge to go with the film’s contemporary style. The rock band instrumentation – electric guitars, drums, keyboards, and so on – are amped up in many of the cues such as “Devil’s Kettle”, “Sandbox Love”, the enigmatic “Scrubbing the Floor”, the aggressive “Death of Colin” and “Levitation”, the seductive “Pulling Hair”, the quietly euphoric “The Pool”, and the bittersweet “Chip Dies”.

A lot of the action and suspense music tends to be of the grungy, atmospheric kind, with very little traditional orchestral input: cues such as “The Fire”, “Swing Shift”, and “Ritual Sacrifice” are little more than ambient synthesized tones and chords, and are not especially interesting, although the rhythmic “Library” does offer an interesting new texture. A creepy Chris Young-style piano motif first appears in the opening “Hospital”, and re-occurs later towards the end of “Swing Shift”, and in “Finding Jonas’ Body”, “Out the Window” and others, but it’s one of the few moments of conventional thematic content in the score, which is disappointing for a composer of Shapiro’s talent. In fact, the entire thing is rather dull, and with no real thematic content or musical key to latch on to, is barely worth seeking out.

None of the score was included on the popular and widely-available song compilation CD; this score promo, which also includes the excellent original rock song “Through the Trees”, written by Ryan Levine and performed by the fictional band Low Shoulder on-screen in the film, was distributed by Shapiro’s agents for awards consideration.

Rating: **

Track Listing:

  • Hospital (3:08)
  • Cell Hallucinations (0:35)
  • Devil’s Kettle (0:34)
  • The Fire (1:02)
  • Escaping the Fire (0:57)
  • The Cool Van (1:21)
  • Swing Shift (5:04)
  • Sandbox Love (1:04)
  • Scrubbing the Floor (0:44)
  • Seducing Jonas (1:01)
  • Eatin’ Jonas (0:55)
  • Finding Jonas’ Body (0:46)
  • Up the Stairs (2:55)
  • Death of Colin (2:30)
  • Road Accident (2:39)
  • Ritual Sacrifice (3:06)
  • Death of Ahmet from India (2:32)
  • Out the Window (1:53)
  • Library (2:04)
  • Pulling Hair (0:43)
  • Jennifer & Chip (1:17)
  • Jennifer’s Lies (1:19)
  • Needy Looks for Chip (1:13)
  • The Pool (2:31)
  • Skewered (0:56)
  • Chip Dies (1:19)
  • Box Cutter Fight (0:50)
  • Levitation (1:28)
  • Back in Solitary (2:23)
  • Through the Trees (written by Ryan Levine, performed by Low Shoulder) (5:04)

Running Time: 53 minutes 53 seconds

Promo, 53:53 (2009)

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