We were wrong.
Maybe it was the era. We were getting stuff like THE ORPHAN, A HAUNTING IN CONECTICUT, FRIDAY THE 13TH (reboot), and Rob Zombie’s second HALLOWEEN movies. Besides ZOMBIELAND or shit like STAN HELSING, horror was taking itself very seriously.
Horror (and comedies) had just gotten out of a phase of appealing to horny teenage guys. If you went to a rated R horror movie, you were going to see some boobs, one way or the other.
And then came JENNIFER’S BODY.
I’d never heard of JUNO in 2009. I had no idea who Diablo Cody was. I had heard that you got to see Megan Fox naked in this movie, so my friends and I (sophomores in college that we were) went in with the dual expectation of seeing some early 2000s frat guy horror movie or something like THE FINAL DESTINATION, which also came out that year.
I mean, look at the poster.
What we got instead was something that was smart enough to see us coming a mile away and give us something we didn’t know we wanted until years later: tongue-in-cheek camp mixed with interesting themes and a great sense of humor.
I remembered hating this movie, chalking it up with the likes of ULTRAVIOLET or (possibly still the worst studio released film I’ve ever seen) the dreadful THE SPIRIT. JENNIFER’S BODY became a joke in my friend group. How could someone make a movie so stupid?
It turns out we were stupid.
What we thought was a dumb plot was an intentionally campy plot.
What we thought was bad dialogue was intentionally stupid dialogue.
Our disappointment at missing the fabled Megan Fox naked scene was kind of the whole point of the movie, in a way.
Megan Fox is the hottest girl in high school even though no one ever really interacts with her at all except for her best friend Amanda Seyfried and boys who want to bang her. Fox gets Seyfried to go to a bar to watch a band (with the horrible name Low Shoulder) because she thinks the singer is hot. Little does she realize the band has found a grimoire and plans to sacrifice the first virgin they can find to the devil so that they can achieve rockstar-level success.
I know. It sounds like the perfect plan.
Except Fox isn’t a virgin.
Not even a backdoor virgin.
Turns out if you sacrifice someone who is neither a front nor backdoor virgin, they get infested with a demon, which means that they have to eat people to stay looking hot and they can levitate and do a few other things. Fortunately for Fox, she gets a kick out of eating all the boys that want to have sex with her.
Long story short, Seyfried and Fox have a falling out when Fox spills the beans on the whole demon thing, prompting Seyfried to swear to stop Fox from eating anyone else and Fox to eat Seyfried’s boyfriend.
JENNIFER’S BODY is everything a good I SCARED MYSELF movie should be: campy, gory, a little dumb, and not afraid to be what it is. The movie revels in its own campiness, from goofy dialogue (Fox refers to Chris Pratt, who is in this movie, as green jello due to his jealousy at one point) bizarre and hilarious choices (Fox burns her own tongue with a lighter while talking on the phone with Seyfried and is just so bored while doing it), to intentionally dumb ideas (like naming a band Low Shoulder).
But here’s the question: Is Jennifer’s Body too good for an I SCARED MYSELF movie?
The answer is probably.
It’s a clever feminist rape revenge allegory that was way ahead of its time. Everything it does is well-thought-out and intentional, which is one of the things we usually try to avoid for movies featured on this blog. The directing and photography are great, the acting is even better, and it grapples with some really interesting themes.
It is campy, it is goofy, and it is dumb.
I’ll leave it at this: should you watch Jennifer’s Body?
The answer, as the poster says above, is Hell Yes!