“Hell is a teenage girl.”
Anita “Needy” Lesnicki, once an insecure and bookish teenager living near Devil’s Kettle, Minnesota, is now a violent mental inmate who narrates the story as a flashback while in solitary confinement. Needy’s been friends, since childhood, with a selfish and popular cheerleader, Jennifer Check, despite having little in common. One night, Jennifer takes Needy to a local dive bar to attend a concert by indie rock band Low Shoulder. A suspicious fire engulfs the bar, killing several people, and Jennifer, who is in shock, agrees to leave with the band despite Needy’s protests.
Later that evening, Jennifer, covered in blood, appears in Needy’s kitchen and proceeds to raw chicken from the fridge. Unable to digest the food, she vomits a trail of black, spiny liquid and then leaves in a hurry as Needy calls after her.
The next morning at school, Jennifer appears fine and shrugs off Needy’s concerns. While the whole town is devastated by the deaths caused by the fire, Jennifer seduces the school’s football captain in the woods and then kills him; his disemboweled corpse is later found. Meanwhile, the members of Low Shoulder gain popularity due to their rumoured heroism during the fire and offer to make a charity appearance at the school’s spring formal.
A month later, Jennifer is beginning to look pale, and accepts a date with school goth/emo Colin, whom she brutally kills that night. While Needy and her boyfriend, Chip, have sex, Needy senses something dreadful has happened. She leaves in a panic and almost runs over Jennifer, drenched in blood.
She rushes home and finds Jennifer in her bedroom. Jennifer kisses her, initiating a brief makeout session, and soon explains what happened after the fire: Low Shoulder took her into the woods and offered her as a virgin sacrifice to Satan in exchange for fame and fortune. Although the sacrifice and greedy exchange were a success, Jennifer was in fact not a virgin, and when the lead singer Nikolai murdered her, the ritual backfired and a demonic spirit took over her body. Unbeknownst to Needy, Jennifer also encountered the Indian exchange student Ahmet after the fire and, upon hearing that no one knew he had survived, took him into the woods and ate him, rendering him her first victim. Jennifer states that she can withstand virtually any injury without pain and is rather difficult to kill.
The next day at school, as the town is stunned by Colin’s death, Needy goes to the school library’s occult section and surmises that Jennifer is a succubus; she is weakest when she is hungry, and must feed on flesh in order to sustain her life and appearance. Needy tells Chip about her discoveries and warns him not to attend the school dance. He does not believe her and she subsequently breaks up with him in order to protect him. Chip goes to the dance, hoping to meet with Needy, but is instead intercepted by Jennifer, who seduces him and takes him to an abandoned pool house.
Will Needy be able to stop Jennifer and end it all? You’ll have to watch to find out…
I really enjoyed this movie, and was very surprised by the rating that was given online. Some criticisms I’ve read is that the film tries to be “more than it is” and has no meaning to it, also some have an issue with it being “too hip”. Well, while it may not be the deepest and most thought-provoking movie, I didn’t find it to be a movie that should be taken too seriously. Jennifer’s Body is serious on the base but most of the dialogue is very comedic and it’s basically a parody of different horror elements. Personally, I feel that a film that has J.K Simmons in it playing a teacher with a curly wig and hook for hand is clearly supposed to be pretty comedic, but that’s just me… Each actor played their characters very well, especially Megan Fox as the highly insecure and seemingly unattainable succubus, but although Amanda Seyfried was a strong lead character I found it to be silly that she’s ugly essentially just because she wears glasses. Additionally, I did find some of the language to be a little awkward, such as Megan Fox telling Colin he gives her a “wettie” – ugh. But mainly I did find everything to be relatable, notably how “emos” were mentioned because that was a big part of my own teenage years. Jennifer’s Body is a rare movie as it seems there aren’t many succubuses (or succubi) represented in film, so go enjoy watching Megan Fox before she had plastic surgery and was naturally perfect.*
*Side note: this film seems to have some strange foreshadowing about her insecurity and later changing her looks quite drastically.