Movie #102 2021: Jennifer’s Body (2009)

I find it completely bizarre yet utterly brilliant that I can watch movies like this on Disney+. The same streaming platform/parent company that pride themselves on movies like Finding Nemo and Moana. What a world.

There’s an extremely simple premise at the heart of Jennifer’s Body, a film which could now be arguably labelled a ‘cult classic’, in my opinion. In a nutshell, Jennifer is played by noughties bombshell Megan Fox, the best friend to Amanda Seyfried’s “Needy”. Though Jennifer is almost an “A lister” in their high school and Needy is very much the nerd of the class, they’ve been inseparable since childhood. One day, when the BFFs attend a concert together, something changes within Jennifer that Needy can’t put her finger on. Turns out she’s possessed, and begins to wreak havoc on the male students around her. Desperate for answers, Needy takes it upon herself to put a stop to her cheerleader friend’s murderous antics.

Okay, you were all correct. Jennifer’s Body is the most 2009 movie in the world. But I will not apologise for having fun and that’s exactly what this is. 

Firstly, the soundtrack is banger after banger. Black Kids, Hole, Dashboard Confessional, Cute Is What We Aim For, Little Boots… I felt like I was 17 again! Some of the best movies are time capsules and this one definitely falls under that umbrella. I say that not only because of the complete bops on the soundtrack, but the music here without doubt contributes to the movie’s charm.

Jennifer’s Body is goofy, ridiculous, corny, bubblegum teen horror comedy at its best if you ask me. Try saying that sentence three times fast. It’s a lot of things, that’s for certain. Sure, not all of it works, but it’s an original, entertaining take on the zombie/demon creature feature for a more modern, teen audience. The pacing is a little all over the place with several scenes being placed in there purely for fun rather than to advance the plot in any way, but on the whole it’s pure, bloody fun from Diablo Cody (Who, by the way, also penned the screenplays for Juno, Tully, plus others. A real talent.)

A note on the cast now, and there’s something I must get off my chest: it’s actually criminal what Hollywood did to Megan Fox. So she’s not the greatest actor in the world but she is the perfect Jennifer and she deserved better. J.K. Simmons showing up in a terrible wig kinda made my day too. 

There are many critics who, at the time it was released, slated Jennifer’s Body for catering to teenage boys with its hyper-sexualisation and softcore lesbian undertones. But I say fuck the haters in all honesty. The script is imaginative, the performances are exactly what they needed to be, and it’s always nice when horrors like this are about female empowerment. It’s fabulous that a lot of people are now realising that Diablo Cody wrote this for women and young girls, and not the horny boys that the studio wanted to aim it at.

It’s a feminist, fantastical, funny film that puts female characters at the forefront of a genre that generally and historically hates women. It’s good shit. And I’m glad people are finally realising that.

Jennifer’s Body is available to stream on Disney+ in the UK.

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