TERRIFYING TUESDAYS: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, JENNIFER’S BODY

Just a reminder about two big horror titles available on DVD today:

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (Paramount Studios Home Entertainment)

Somewhat controversially, I called this “the most frightening film I’ve ever seen in a movie theatre” in Rue Morgue Magazine. Sorry, but it’s true. Going into a screening of Paranormal Activity in early September, with basically no idea what the movie was about, my expectations were low. But director Oren Peli’s $12,000 budget was well-spent. His tale of a couple haunted by a demon was terrifying in the group dynamic of a movie theatre. At home, the viewing experience, knowing what scares are to come, is somewhat less impressive but still worthwhile, especially if your house creaks in just the right places.

Key extra: The original ending,which is less showy but perhaps truer to the film’s “spirit,” no pun intended.

JENNIFER’S BODY (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)

It was unjustly maligned by critics and largely ignored by audiences, but Jennifer’s Body was one of 2009’s most entertaining films. Again, sorry! Those doubtful of Megan Fox — and those doubts were understandable — would have seen that, yes, she can act, and she is perfectly cast as Jennifer, a small town hottie whose surface sophistication belies a deep insecurity and naivete. As Jennifer’s BFF Needy, Amanda Seyfried is the film’s heart. It’s through her eyes that we see her losing her best friend (and, in some ways, worst enemy) to a boy-eating demon. It’s not a scary film, but the intertwined feelings of love and animosity between teen girls screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) has laid out is pretty disturbing. Hell is a teenage girl, indeed.

Key extra: The commentary track between director Karyn Kusama and Cody, which is both funny and highly intellectual.

Megan Fox as Jennifer

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