Film: Jennifer's Body

Jennifer's Body is an 2009 Comedy Horror film written by Diablo Cody, the writer of Juno, and starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried. Jennifer is a high school cheerleader who goes to a rock concert, where the band tries to sacrifice her to Satan in order to get a record deal. It works, but Jennifer gets possessed by a demon in the process, causing her to start seducing, killing, and eating the boys in her school. Upon finding out, Needy, Jennifer's "plain jane" best friend since childhood, sets out to stop her from wiping out the student body.

The name of the film is taken from the song "Jennifer's Body" by Hole. Oddly, the song does not appear in the film, although another track from the same album does.

This film has examples of the following tropes:

  • Affably Evil: Low Shoulder might be considered this, especially the lead singer.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders
  • Alpha Bitch: Jennifer was like this even before she turned into a demon. Needy just seems to be somewhat safe from her more overt jerkass tendencies.
    • Jennifer's Alpha Bitch slowly begins rearing its head towards Needy when she notices how close friends Needy was with Colin and later how in love Needy and Chip were and decides to eat first Colin and then later Chip just because she wanted to take what Needy had.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Chip's little sister Camille.
    You're penis cheese!
  • Asshole Victim: Low Shoulder really had it coming.
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: The earliest trailers showed Jennifer and Needy in intimate situations and despite their making out in the movie, both of them have male romantic/sexual interests. However, there is enough Les Yay in the movie for someone to reasonably assume that the two girls were at least bisexual. The argument could even be made for Jennifer being an outright lesbian, since all of her male interests were either the result of jockeying for social position, or trying to keep Needy for herself. In fact, after a scene of Needy gazing a little too blissfully another girl says to her point blank: "You are totally LesbiGay."
  • Big Bad Friend: Jennifer. She even tries to stay "friends" with Needy... kinda.
  • Big "NO!": Needy, after Chip's death.
  • Body Horror: As a horror movie involving a girl shifting into a demon would require.
  • Brainy Brunette and Dumb Blonde: Inverted. The brunette Jennifer is an airheaded Alpha Bitch (though it's implied that she's just playing dumb), while the blonde Needy is a Hollywood Nerd.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Needy.
  • Breast Attack: "My tit!" Justified, seeing as Needy has to stab through Jennifer's breast to get to her heart.
  • Buffy Speak: Diablo Cody wrote this movie... and it shows.
  • Cassandra Truth: Chip initially doesn't believe Needy's seemingly outrageous claims about Jennifer, not that you can blame him. Also, Needy is the only one who knows that Low Shoulder aren't the heroes everyone else thinks they are; no-one else believes her when she states otherwise, presumably because that's part of Low Shoulder's Deal with the Devil.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: See the poster.
  • The Cheerleader: Vapid, skanky, and bullying... and that's before she gets possessed.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The BFF necklace that Jennifer wears.
    • The whirlpool beneath the falls. In Act I, Needy says that no one knows where it empties out at. In Act III, she finds out, finding Chekhov's Gun number 3:
    • The knife that Jennifer was sacrificed with.
  • Contagious Powers: Being bitten by a demon and surviving gives you some of its power.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Jennifer believes that her possession is essentially this (in a deleted scene, she is openly amused when Needy speculates about a possible cure for Jennifer's curse). Needy herself becomes Cursed with Awesome at the end of the movie.
  • Death by Sex: Played so straight it's likely a parody of this trope — Jennifer uses the promise of sex to lure boys into places where she can eat them.
  • Demonic Possession: Jennifer, after being sacrificed by a band.
  • Depraved Bisexual
    Needy: I thought you only killed boys?
    Jennifer: I go both ways.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?
    Jennifer: It smells like Thai food in here. Have you guys been fucking?
  • Downer Ending: Some of the main cast are killed (Jennifer and Chip), and Needy gets put in an insane asylum. On the plus side, Karma Houdini was averted since Needy gained some of Jennifer's powers (super strength and levitation, at the least) and proceeded to escape and murder all of Low Shoulder.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Chip's impalement of Jennifer.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: When Jennifer is about to attack, animals all around her start fidgeting and screeching.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Jennifer describes the post-feeding "buzz" like this:
    Jennifer: "You know when you kiss a boy for the first time and it feels like your entire body is on vibrate."
    Needy: "Yeah."
    Jennifer: "It's that good."
  • Fake Band: Low Shoulder.
  • Fan Disservice: Yes, it is Megan Fox, but it is somewhat difficult to find Jennifer sexy when she's covered in blood, has a mouthful of sharp piranha teeth, and is acting creepy as hell.
  • Fanservice: The entire marketing campaign was built on Megan Fox's hotness.
  • Fille Fatale: Take a big guess at who.
  • Finger-Suck Healing: In a flashback, Needy did this for Jennifer when they were children. It is implied that this is why Needy is able to sense when Jennifer is about to kill someone.
  • Giggling Villain: Jennifer indulges in some very creepy giggling shortly after her possession.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Is there any other reason why this film has a minute-long scene of Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried making out?
  • Glasgow Grin: Jennifer's face when she feeds has shades of this. When she opens her mouth to eat Jonas, her cheeks visibly split open.
  • A God Am I: After realizing her newfound healing ability, Jennifer burns her tongue with a lighter then loudly declares "I am a god."
  • Godiva Hair: Jennifer, before she eats Jonas.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Low Shoulder's "virgin" sacrifice. It got them fame and fortune (and drugs and hos) but it also brought back a man eating demon.
  • Gorn: Jonas' corpse is briefly shown, entrails hanging out for all to see.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: For most of the deaths.
  • Goth: Colin.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: Parodied when Needy discovers the truth about Jennifer's demonic possession from books found in the school library.
    Chip: We have an occult section in the library?
    Needy: Yeah. It's really small.
  • Healing Factor: Jennifer gains healing powers upon her possession.
  • Heart in the Wrong Place: Jennifer places Jonas's hand above her left breast and asks him to feel her heart.
  • Hollywood Hype Machine: From the marketing, to even the movie poster at the top of the page, this movie was pretty much an attempt to cash in on Megan Fox's status as an "It Girl." It backfired.
  • Hollywood Satanism: Low Shoulder.
  • Horny Devils: Jennifer - a type of succubus, to be exact.
  • Horror Hunger: For everyone else involved, Jennifer seems to have no qualms about her new diet whatsoever.
  • How We Got Here: The film starts with Needy in a mental hospital, and most of the film consists of her showing us how she got to that point.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Devil's Kettle.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Jennifer uses this to get drinks, despite being underage. She explicitly calls Needy's tits "smart bombs" for their destructive power.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: How Jennifer kills people.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Chip impales Jennifer with a large pole just before he dies. It doesn't kill her, but, hey, at least he tried.
  • Indecisive Parody: One common criticism of the movie is the fact that it flops back and forth between being intentionally silly and seeming to take itself seriously.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Just try saying "Jennifer's Body" in a casual conversation without adding the words "the movie" before it. See what happens.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Jennifer, when she tries to eat the chicken from Needy's fridge.
  • Jerkass: Jennifer starts out as one, but she becomes a lot crueler after her possession. Also Nikolai.
  • Jump Scare: Used a few times, most notably when Jennifer is standing right behind Needy shortly after her murder and possession, and then later in the same scene when she suddenly lets out a demonic roar. Also used when a bird frightens Colin when he is trying to find Jennifer in the partially-constructed house.
  • Kick the Dog: Jennifer loves doing this, particularly after her possession.
  • Mama Bear: Needy's mother invokes this.
    I dreamed some bad people were trying to nail you to a tree with hammers and big stakes and shit. Just like J.C. But I didn't let 'em get to you, 'cause I'm a hard-assed, Ford-tough mama bear.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Jennifer is an example of the type that doesn't have some big, complicated plan. Even when she starts killing people, her transparent playing on Needy's insecurities is closer to simple Alpha Bitch bullying than towards any actual goal.
  • Manly Tears: Jonas, after his best friend dies in the fire.
  • Meaningful Name: The title.
    • You'd never guess what Needy's defining trait is.
    • The town too. Of course a demonic sacrifice would happen in a town called "Devil's ̶L̶a̶k̶e̶ Kettle".
  • Mood Whiplash: Intentionally invoked in the scene that jumps between Jennifer seducing, then devouring some poor schmuck and Needy and Chip's WAFFy sex.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Jennifer has lots of sharp little piranha-style teeth when feeding on people.
  • Nerd Glasses: Needy wears them.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer contained some great one-liners cut out of the actual movie.
  • Nice Guy: Chip and Colin.
  • Nightmare Face: Jennifer, when feeding.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Chip invokes this when he says this about Jonas' mother: "She's staring out the window like a zombie mannequin robot statue."
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Used to great effect shortly before Needy discovers Jennifer in her house.
  • Obviously Evil: Nikolai, Low Shoulder's lead singer, is this in Needy's eyes.
    I watched her get into that van and I knew something awful was going to happen. He was skinny and twisted and evil like this petrified tree I saw when I was a kid.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: With a bit of creepy echoing whispers too.
  • Popular Is Dumb: Jennifer, who is clearly far ditzier than the less popular Needy.
  • Power Floats: Provides the page quote, too!
  • The Power of Friendship: Jennifer loses her ability to levitate when Needy rips off her BFF necklace.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: At first, Jennifer only feeds when she absolutely has to, going at least a month inbetween killing Jonas and Colin. However, she eventually starts killing simply for the hell of it...
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Kind of, since it's not said to the victim (but precedes the credits in which the act is shown).
    Passing Motorist: So, why are you headed east?
    Needy: I'm following this rock band.
    Driver: Must be one hell of a group.
    Needy: Tonight's gonna be their last show.
  • Psychic Link: It is strongly implied that Jennifer and Needy have one, following an incident when they were children in which Needy sucked the blood from a puncture on Jennifer's hand.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The Devil's Kettle is a real waterfall. Half the river really does disappear into the ground. Scientists have no idea where it comes back out. (The town in the movie doesn't exist.)
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After discovering that she has gained some of the demon's powers, Needy uses them to escape the mental institution, so she can track down and murder all of Low Shoulder.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Low Shoulder, the indie band that tries to sacrifice Jennifer in order to get a record deal.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Jennifer and Needy, although the trope is deconstructed.
    Needy: Sandbox love never dies.
  • Rule of Pool: Just before Jennifer eats Chip, Needy's boyfriend, she tosses him into a pool while he is wearing formal wear. She then proceeds to jump in after him. Followed soon by Needy.
  • Running Gag: One character constantly refers to Devil's Kettle as "Devil's Lake".
  • Scenery Porn: The scene where Jennifer is swimming naked in a lake. The first shot of the scene is actually a wide-angle overhead shot with Jennifer's body only a tiny speck — she's actually quite easy to miss, so for that shot at least the lake is the emphasis.
  • Self-Mutilation Demonstration: Jennifer burns her own tongue with a cigarette lighter, and slashes herself in front of Needy when she decides to share her 'secret' with her.
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Low Shoulder is living this lifestyle when we see them on tour at the end of the movie.
  • Sex Sells: Just watch the film's ad campaign. Heck, the film's title is named after it.
  • She's Got Legs: Most of the movie posters.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Amanda Seyfried does appear in the trailers, but apart from her name on top, she is absent from all the posters, which focus exclusively on Megan Fox.
  • Slasher Smile: Jennifer displays one at various times. Most notably after she first becomes possessed and when she appears in Needy's vision sitting on top of the chair watching her and Chip have sex.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Slides all around this. Scenes go from funny to shocking to funny, then back to shocking. Usually with quite a bit of sexy in the middle.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Tracks like Panic! at the Disco's "New Perspective" and Florence and the Machine's "A Kiss with a Fist" seem a bit light for a horror movie.
    • Not to mention an in-movie example when Low Shoulder sings Tommy Tutone's '867-5309/Jenny' as they murder her.
  • Stealth Parody: A flimsy plot held together with squicky Fanservice and generous helpings of self-aware Buffy Speak.
  • Stealth Pun: That quick one-liner when Jennifer calls Chip "lime green jello," when calling him jealous.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Chip.
  • Super Strength: Jennifer gains this power following her possession, enabling her to seriously overpower Jonas, who is described as "the biggest guy in school". She also throws Colin around like a rag doll. Needy also appears to gain this power after being bitten by Jennifer.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Needy.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Needy gains some of Jennifer's demon powers after being bitten by her. She uses them to break out of the mental hospital and kill Low Shoulder.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Jennifer seems to make a half her lines in this.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Low Shoulder tries to sacrifice Jennifer, thinking she's a virgin. Unfortunately, she's been having sex since Junior High. The ritual works as planned, but Jennifer gets possessed by a demon because she wasn't a virgin.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Whenever Jennifer vomits up that demonic, spiny black sludge.
  • With Friends Like These...: Jennifer walks all over Needy, although the latter doesn't want to see it until the end.
    Needy: You know what? You were never really a good friend. Even when we were little, you used to steal my toys and pour lemonade on my bed.
    Jennifer: And now, I'm eating your boyfriend. See? At least I'm consistent.