has a basic rape-revenge plot. Early in the film, stuck-up high-school princess Jennifer (Megan Fox) is brutalized by a bunch of guys (though not explicitly raped); late in the film, the guys get their long-telegraphed bloody comeuppance. Writer Diablo Cody (Juno
) and director Karyn Kusama, though, want you to know that they’re smarter and hipper than that suggests, so they carefully distance both of these primal scenes through devices like ironically narrated flashback. Alas, as it turns out being clever with your exploitation tropes tends to just make them boring--especially if you’re not actually all that clever. The movie wanders about searching for a suitable replacement--the evil transformation from Christine
? The deadly prom from Carrie
? Special effects from the Exorcist
? BFF jealousy from Single White Female
? Women-in-prison films? Anything? Cody gets off a couple of good lines ("she's actually evil, not high school evil"), and there's a gleefully oleaginous performance by Adam Brody as a black-souled (but still sensitive) indie rocker. Overall, though, the flashes of competence just emphasize the extent to which the film has no idea what it's doing.
35mm. Fri 10/19-Sat 10/20, midnight.