Horrortoberfest ’21 Day 12 – Jennifer’s Body (2009)

In the past few years, Jennifer’s Body has begun to have something of a renaissance as people return to it with a different outlook. It has been touted as a feminist masterpiece, a bisexual horror classic, and a clever parody of the high school expectations. I figured that this would be the perfect excuse for me to finally give this film that is on the fast track to cult classic status a chance and see what exactly all the fuss is about.

The movie revolves around Anita aka “Needy”, Amanda Seyfried’s character, and her relationship with Jennifer, played by Megan Fox. Best Friends since they were little, the two of them remain BFFs in high school even through they don’t seem to have anything in common anymore. When Jennifer drags Needy off to go see a band, Jen ends up getting sacrificed to Satan by the band so they can become stars. Instead of dying, however, Jennifer’s body (haHA) gets possessed by a demon and now she must consume flesh in order to stay alive.

If you weren’t aware that this movie was written by Diablo Cody of Juno fame, it becomes immediately apparent as everyone talks in that quippy way she tends to write in. Not a huge fan of the amount of times the movie calls things “retarded” and the plot is basically just Ginger Snaps in the Mean Girls universe but without either one of those movies’ charm. I was really hoping I was going to find a hidden gem here, what with the recent media fervor over how wrong we were to dismiss this movie when it came out. While it certainly does some things well, I don’t think it deserves quite the level of praise that it’s getting.

For what the movie does well, Seyfried and Fox are both great and have excellent chemistry with each other. When the movie works best is when it shows itself as a metaphor for teen girl life. The need to constantly be beautiful, the insecurity that you might not be good enough, the sexual confusion and pressure that is constantly present. Wrapping the changes of teen life in the story of a demonic possession is clever but it could have been realized so much better. There is the making of a really good horror film within Jennifer’s Body but so much of it gets ruined for me by the writing and a lack of focus on what makes the story interesting.

I think this movie could honestly do with a remake. I’m not one that automatically hates and decries Hollywood every time they remake or reimagine a property. Sometimes there’s a story that’s good enough to tell but the original just didn’t quite do it justice.

Score: 3 out of 5

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