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Film / Jennifer's Body

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Anita "Needy" Lesnicki: You're killing people!
Jennifer Check: No, I'm killing boys.

Jennifer's Body is a 2009 Teen Horror Comedy film directed by Karyn Kusama, written by Diablo Cody (Juno), and starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried.

Jennifer (Fox) is a high school cheerleader who goes to a rock concert, where the band tries to sacrifice her to Satan 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 (Seyfried), Jennifer's Hollywood Homely Best Friend since childhood, sets out to stop her from wiping out the student body.

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

This film has examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: Bill Fagerbakke as a football coach.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Needy gearing up to take down Jennifer once and for all.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Jennifer's a cheerleader, and almost every guy in the school wants to bang her. She uses this to her advantage after being possessed.
  • 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 nature 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. Then she decides to eat first Colin and then later Chip just because she wanted to take what Needy had.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Neither Needy or Jennifer's fathers appear. In the first case, it's pretty clear he isn't around (although why isn't said), but Jennifer's simply may be offscreen, as we don't see much of her house. Only their mothers appear in any case (both quite briefly).
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Anita "Needy" Lesnicki has a boyfriend, whom she cares about very deeply. She also makes out with Jennifer, and seems to be really into it before she breaks it off. Jennifer herself has been intimate with lots of boys, but she also passionately makes out with Needy. More generally, there's a pretty strong undercurrent of sexual tension between Needy and Jennifer throughout the film.
    • Megan Fox deconstructs Jennifer's sexuality by saying that she portrayed Jennifer as a deeply closeted lesbian.
  • And I Must Scream: The fact that Jennifer is possessed shows she may not be in complete control of her actions and by doing the ritual on her, Low Shoulder is pretty much responsible for her death.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Chip's little sister Camille.
    Camille: "You're penis cheese!"
  • Antagonist Title: Jennifer becomes the main antagonist after her possession. Needy is The Protagonist.
  • Armor-Piercing Question / Armor-Piercing Response: Needy delivers a few to Jennifer as she confronts her for eating her boyfriend Chip.
    Needy: Why do you need him? Huh? You can have anybody that you want, Jennifer, so... why Chip? Is it just to tick me off? Or is it because you're just really insecure?
    Jennifer: (trying and failing to keep her cool) ... I am not insecure, Needy. God, that's a joke. How can I ever be insecure? I was the Snowflake Queen!
    Needy: Yeah, two years ago when you were socially relevant...
    Jennifer: (getting increasingly irritated) I am still socially relevant...
    Needy: ...and when you didn't need laxatives to stay skinny.
    Jennifer: [Beat] I am going... to eat your soul and SHIT IT OUT, LESNECKI!!!
  • Arc Words: When Needy and Chip spend the night together, she hallucinates seeing blood drip through the ceiling and Jennifer murdering someone and utters "hopeless...". Later, you can see the words "hopeless" spray painted on the walls of the abandoned poolhouse where Jennifer attempts to devour Chip.
  • Asshole Victim: Low Shoulder really had it coming.
  • Badass Boast: "I am going to eat your soul and shit it out, Lesnicki!!"
  • Bad Black Barf: After breaking into Needy's refrigerator for something to eat and being unable to digest regular human food (like chicken), Jennifer projectile vomits black ooze onto the kitchen floor that seemingly moves on its own and resembles pins and needles very briefly.
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: The earliest trailers showed Jennifer and Needy in intimate situations, and despite their making out in the movie, both are only seen and mentioned as being with boys. However, there is enough tension between them in the film to reasonably assume the two girls were bisexual. The argument could even be made for Jennifer being a closeted lesbian since all of her male interests were either the result of jockeying for social position or trying to keep Needy for herself. After a scene of Needy gazing a little too blissfully at Jennifer, another girl says to her point-blank: "You are totally LesbiGay." Megan Fox even says she played Jennifer as a very closeted lesbian. Needy also may be at least bisexual, since she's very into kissing Jennifer. Still, this bit only makes up a small part of the film, and it goes no further.
  • Berserk Button: Jennifer takes a lot of insults from Needy in stride, but it's when Needy calls her out on her insecurity and bringing up Jennifer's past eating disorders and abuse of laxatives to stay skinny that's what really sets off her homicidal anger.
  • Big Bad: Jennifer Check, a demonic cheerleader terrorizing a small town.
  • Big "NO!": Needy lets out several after Chip's death.
  • Bisexual Love Triangle: Jennifer and Needy have always had an intense Pseudo-Romantic Friendship, which included bed sharing (and they make out at one point). Needy is also in a relationship with Chip and only shows attraction to other guys, such as Colin. While all the boys want Jennifer, her only really sincere romantic relationship is with Needy but the arc of the movie is ultimately about Needy realizing what a Toxic Friend Influence Jennifer is. Jennifer kills Chip (and Colin) because she wanted to take what Needy had, so ultimately, Needy killed Jennifer in revenge and to stop her from hurting anyone else. Nevertheless, she inherited some of Jennifer's powers and used them to avenge her at the end.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jennifer and Chip are killed, and Needy gets put in a prison psych ward. Needy does gain some of Jennifer's powers (Super-Strength and levitation, at the least) and proceeds to escape and murder all of Low Shoulder, but she's still a fugitive and a pariah with no income or support network.
  • Black Comedy:
    • Jennifer asking Needy for a tampon, to plug her gaping stomach wound.
    • Jonas' grief-stricken father loudly declaring that he's going to find his son's killer, chop off his balls, and use them as a door knocker.
    • When Needy and Chip have sex for the first time, the former starts sensing Jennifer's murder of Colin and freaks out appropriately. Chip, on the other hand, mistakes her terrified gasps for pleasurable ones and looks highly pleased with himself.
    • Jennifer's reaction when Needy stabs her through the heart? "My tit!" Talk about Skewed Priorities...
  • Black Dude Dies First: While not the first death shown on-screen, Jennifer's first victim is Ahmet, the Indian exchange student.
  • Body Horror: As a horror movie involving a girl shifting into a demon would require. See Nightmare Face for more details.
  • Bound and Gagged: In the flashback, Jennifer is bounded with a scarf tied around her mouth and ropes binding her arms at the virgin sacrifice by Low Shoulder so she couldn't escape or scream for help.
  • 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. The dialogues are chock-full of made-up words and awkward attempts to talk about demonic possession and the occult.
  • Bury Your Gays: The bisexual villain protagonist Jennifer gets killed by Needy (while Needy's Ambiguously Bi and lives-she's also the heroine).
  • Came Back Wrong: After being used for a Virgin Sacrifice, Jennifer (who wasn't a virgin) comes back as a man-eating succubus. Hilarity and horror ensues.
  • The Cameo: Lance Henriksen plays the man who picks Needy up near the end in his car.
  • Carnivorous Healing Factor: After Jennifer gets demonically possessed and becomes a succubus, she gets a Fantastic Diet Requirement, becoming sickly and listless if she avoids eating humans for too long. Eating them restores her to health.
  • 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 believes her when she states otherwise, presumably because that's part of Low Shoulder's Deal with the Devil, or they'd just garnered a good reputation by (allegedly) saving people from the fire.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: While she isn't actually a Catholic schoolgirl, Jennifer is shown on the poster wearing this kind of outfit, which shows off her long legs. She doesn't wear this in the film however.
  • Cessation of Existence: Colin's mother says he's just a corpse now, not in some better place like his emo friends say (at his funeral, no less), which really doesn't hold water considering he was murdered by a literal demon.
  • 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. In Act III, she finds out, finding Chekhov's Gun number 3:
    • The bowie knife used to sacrifice Jennifer.
  • Coming and Going: Chip and Needy having sex for the first time, juxtaposed with Jennifer killing and eating Colin.
  • Consuming Passion: The whole movie runs on this. There are sexual undertones to Jennifer eating boys. And Jennifer's "I go both ways" is often a statement used when saying someone is bisexual.
  • Contagious Powers: Being bitten by a demon and surviving gives you some of its power.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: Currently the film provides the trope image. Jennifer and Needy have been friends since early childhood. However, they are clearly drifting apart even before the plot picks up and it only goes worse from there. Eventually Needy has a revelation that they never really were friends and Jennifer simply needed Needy to feel better about herself and her self-esteem.
  • The Corruption: How the whole succubus thing works. Jennifer gets really callous and sees nothing wrong with her new diet. When she passes some of her curse on Needy, she gets just as vulgar and brutal, if not more so due to all the pent-up anger.
  • Country Matters: When Needy confronts Jennifer at the end, she's armed with a sharp utility knife. A knife for, in Needy's words, "cutting boxes." "Box" is also a euphemism for "vagina" — as is another certain insult. Needy is basically calling Jennifer a cunt.
  • Creator Cameo: Diablo Cody appears as the Melody Lane's bartender.
  • Creepy Stalker Van: Satan-worshipping Emo band Low Shoulder grabs Jennifer and takes her away in their van, providing the current page quote for the trope.
    Needy: They took her in their spooky van with the windows all blacked out.
    Chip: Did you get the model?
    Needy: I don't know, Chip! An '89 Rapist?
  • Culturally Religious: Needy appears to be nominally Catholic since her mom crosses herself after talking about Jesus' crucifixion; later, she calls on God along with a couple of saints while fighting Jennifer.
  • 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), and aside from being somehow even more beautiful, she gains a Healing Factor and Super-Strength. She does, however, suffer from Horror Hunger and it affects her pretty badly when she's not eating regularly - but she scoffs it off entirely.
    • Needy herself becomes Cursed with Awesome at the end of the movie, with all the perks of Jennifer's curse, but none of the disadvantages.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Chip, who gets devoured by succubus Jennifer and succumbs to his injuries before his girlfriend Needy can save him. Ultimately, his death sets off Needy's quest for revenge.
  • Date Rape: What Needy fears happened to Jennifer the night she left with the band in their van, but something much worse took place.
  • Deal with the Devil: Low Shoulder tries to do this to become successful.
  • Demonic Possession: Jennifer, after being sacrificed by a band. Interestingly, the demon doesn't seem to take over her entire personality, but amplifies her Jerkass tendencies up to eleven. She also suffers from a nasty Horror Hunger, and gains supernatural powers such as increased strength and healing, levitation, and teleportation.
  • 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?
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Jennifer's abduction by Low Shoulder has some extremely rapey overtones. They take advantage of her shock at the bar burning down to ply her with drink, bundle her into their van, and drive off into the woods. During the journey, a terrified Jennifer even outright asks if they're rapists, and doesn't get a straight answer. Afterwards, her behavior is noticeably different, with inappropriate emotional outbursts (in this case, demonic possession, but this is also a sign of trauma). Needy must then watch everyone venerate and adore the men she knows did something horrible to her friend. Later on Jennifer recounts what happened to Needy, how they tied her down helplessly as she'd very obviously feared they'd rape her. It turns out they had even worse in store though.
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: Needy does this to Jennifer.
  • Emo Teen: Colin is a pretty classic example, with short spiky dyed black hair, eye shadow, and piercings. He also dresses in mostly black or dark colors. He's mentioned as having a fixation about death and similar dark subjects; Colin's even called emo. Meanwhile, his friends display the stereotypes even more heavily.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Dirk from Low Shoulder is against the idea of sacrificing Jennifer to Satan. Nikolai from the band then asks him if he wants to work the rest of his life in a coffee shop and be a big loser or "to be rich and awesome like that guy from Maroon 5". Dirk chooses the latter option. He's still not exactly happy with it, though, and can be seen looking away as Nikolai stabs Jennifer.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Jennifer describes the post-feeding "buzz" like this:
    Jennifer: "I feel scrumptious! 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."
  • Extreme Doormat: Needy to Jennifer, at the beginning.
  • Fake Band: Low Shoulder, who use Satanism and targeting underage girls for virginal sacrifice to achieve their fame.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Yes, it is Megan Fox, but it is somewhat challenging to find Jennifer sexy when she's covered in blood, has a mouthful of sharp piranha teeth, and is acting creepy as hell. Not to mention the way her cheeks split open when she feeds.
    • Chip and Needy's sex scene starts erotic. Then it turns nightmarish and awkward very quickly as Needy begins hallucinating blood dripping down the walls, Colin's death, Jonas' corpse, and a demonic-looking Jennifer watching her and Chip mistaking her gasps of panic for pleasure.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Low Shoulder might be considered this, especially the lead singer Nikolai. He chats with Jennifer in an almost friendly manner and jokes around as he's preparing to sacrifice her to Satan.
  • Fille Fatale: Jennifer is this, as she is in high school, but uses her sexuality to get into bars, pay for drinks, seduce boys, and lose her virginity to a cop. The fact that the same cop she teases in Melody Lane tells her "not here" since they are in public only adds to this.
  • Finger-Suck Healing: In a flashback, Needy did this for Jennifer when they were children. It is implied that this is why Needy can sense when Jennifer is about to kill someone.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At the very beginning, Needy kicks an orderly at the prison psych ward with such force that she ends up flying across the table, and even knocks out one of her teeth. It later turns out that she gained some of Jennifer's demonic powers, such as Super-Strength.
    • Needy asks the front man of Low Shoulder why they're playing all the way out in Devil's Kettle when they're from the big city and could presumably get gigs there. He fumbles the question and quickly changes the subject—because, of course, the real reason they're in town is to find a sacrificial victim.
    • When the teacher is mentioning the victims of the Melody Lane fire, Jennifer giggles after he says the name of Ahmet, the Indian exchange student. As it turns out, Ahmet was Jennifer's first victim.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Needy is torn between her devotion to her loving boyfriend Chip and her toxic best friend, Jennifer.
  • Fully-Embraced Fiend: Jennifer has absolutely zero issues with being a murderous monster right from the start and finds it amusing that she's a Literal Maneater.
  • Giggling Villain: Jennifer indulges in some very creepy giggling shortly after her possession.
  • 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.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: A twofer - not only does Needy get a sexy upgrade in the end, but her newfound Healing Factor means she doesn't even need the glasses anymore.
  • Godiva Hair: Jennifer, before she eats Jonas, is completely naked, with only her hair covering her breasts (barely).
  • 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's corpse is briefly shown with entrails hanging out for all to see. We later see Colin's messy corpse, but it isn't nearly as graphic as the state of Jonas's.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: For most of the deaths, although we do get to see their messy remains afterward.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Needy usually uses only euphemisms rather than actual expletives. When she swears for real, it's a sign that she's very upset.
  • Goth: Colin, who wears eyeliner, dark nail polish, black and red-colored clothes, band bracelets, and a crucifix.
  • Goths Have It Hard: Parodied. Colin is a downbeat-seeming goth who is shown to be attracted to the dark side but is actually a nice guy with a very normal life that's contrasted against Needy and Jennifer's problems. After his death, his goth friends are shown to be near-obsessed with his grave and being the center of attention. However, Colin's mom, who is genuinely devastated, calls it out for being performative and shoos them away.
  • 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Jennifer may be the main antagonist, but it was the actions of Low Shoulder in favor of none other than Satan that turned her into a monster.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Needy is both very blonde and the most innocent character in the movie.
  • Happy Flashback: There are several flashbacks about Needy and Jennifer's childhood. These scenes have bright colors compared to the rest of the movie.
  • Hate Sink: Nikolai Wolf, lead singer of Low Shoulder, is the only character with no redeeming qualities. At first he appears to be a standard Jerkass rock star, making misogynistic comments and seemingly creeping on Jennifer, who's a minor. Then, it's revealed that he's a Satanist plotting to sacrifice her for fame. After it's strongly implied he supernaturally started a fire that kills dozens, he gleefully kills Jennifer. Moreso, he exploits the aforementioned fire to make his band look good, falsely claiming to have saved people from the flames.
  • Healing Factor: Jennifer gains healing powers upon her possession. The healing is faster after she's recently fed — when she's weaker, the healing is slower.
  • Heart in the Wrong Place: Jennifer places Jonas's hand above her left breast and asks him to feel her heart.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard/Karmic Death: Needy murders the members of Low Shoulder with the same knife they used to sacrifice Jennifer. To further add insult to injury, she leaves the knife embedded in ringleader Nikolai's chest.
  • 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 is this trope with their Satanic Bibles. They end up kidnapping and murdering Jennifer; they are an indie/rock band (so not the heavy metal usually associated with this trope), which indicates that the trope is deliberately invoked.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: A fair amount between Jennifer and Needy. Their Pseudo-Romantic Friendship is established early on, with Needy staring rather wistfully at Jennifer (causing a classmate to call them "LesbiGay"), and Jennifer seeming very possessive of Needy around the latter's boyfriend. After Jennifer gets possessed, she becomes increasingly fixated on Needy and starts specifically targeting boys in whom Needy has an interest. Meanwhile, it's implied that Needy develops a Psychic Link with Jennifer as a result of some Finger-Suck Healing from when they were little; she starts seeing visions of Jennifer seducing (and then murdering) her victims. It then goes beyond subtext during their passionate make-out session, after which Jennifer claims that she and Needy often used to "play boyfriend and girlfriend" when they were younger.
  • Honey Trap: Jennifer, once possessed, uses her sex appeal to seduce many boys so they'll go off with her somewhere secluded, then eats them alive.
  • 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 prison psych ward, and most of the film consists of her showing us how she got to that point. As an additional layer of this, the film initially flashes back to the night Needy kills Jennifer before going to the true start of the narrative.
  • Idealized Sex: Averted. Needy and Chip's first time having sex, while enjoyable (at first) and romantic, is appropriately awkward and low key. It also gets cut short before either can "finish" due to Needy becoming distressed and scared because she has a vision of Jennifer killing Colin. They also mention getting condoms earlier. Before starting, they're seen using one they had at the ready.
  • 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: Jennifer butchers and devours her victims.
  • Impact Silhouette: When Needy escapes the prison psych ward at the end, she walks straight through the wire fence, leaving a large hole in her wake.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Chip impales Jennifer with a large pole just before he dies. It doesn't kill her, but he deserves points for trying.
  • Imperfect Ritual: Another "sacrifice is not a virgin" example: the rockers sacrifice Jennifer thinking she's a virgin, but since she's not, a succubus takes over her body.
  • Indecisive Parody: One common criticism of the movie is that it flops back and forth between being intentionally silly and seemingly taking 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.
  • Irony: Near the end of the film, a road sign warning about Low Shoulder is shown.
  • Jailbait Taboo: The cop Jennifer lost her virginity to worriedly stops her kissing him while they're in public, as she's underage.
  • Jerkass:
  • Jump Scare: Used a few times, most notably when Jennifer is suddenly 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, when a bird frightens Colin as he tries to find Jennifer in the partially-constructed house.
  • Kick the Dog: Jennifer loves doing this, particularly after her possession.
  • Lean and Mean: Nikolai's willowy build is used to make him more menacing. Needy describes him as "skinny and twisted and evil," comparing him to a petrified tree she saw as a small child.
  • Levitating Lotus Position: Near the end, Needy's shown to have the levitation ability Jennifer had by floating up from the floor of her isolation cell to the window in the lotus position, after which she escapes by kicking through it.
  • Lipstick Lesbian:
    • Jennifer, who seems to be a lipstick bisexual, has long hair, wears feminine clothing (including very short skirts) at all times, having sex with a lot of men. She also seems very into her female best friend Needy. Actress Megan Fox says she played her as a very closeted lesbian.
    • Needy, conversely, has a boyfriend who she seems into but also appears to find Jennifer attractive. She dresses more frumpily, but in a likewise feminine way, and thus may also be a lipstick bisexual.
  • Literal Maneater: Jennifer. She seduces boys before eating them alive.
  • Loser Friend Puzzles Outsiders: Inverted. It's Needy's circle that's confused over why she's hanging out with someone like Jennifer or how they even know each other.
  • Love Triangle: Jennifer/Needy/Chip, invoked by Jennifer.
  • Mama Bear: Needy's mother invokes this.
    Ms. Lesnicki: 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 Kettle."
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Well, according to Jennifer, they are. She decides to make an exception for Needy, though. Nice of her, wasn't it?
  • Mercy Kill: Jennifer was basically a walking dead person after getting possessed and so Needy killing her, while done out of revenge, pretty much put her out of her misery.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: After Needy breaks off having sex with Chip, she covers herself with the sheet.
  • 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.
  • Motifs: A "cross" symbol shows up multiple times. There's one on the bottom of the isolation cell Needy is placed into, crossesnote  are drawn onto the hands of Melody Lane patrons, and, in the end, Needy slashes a cross shape into Jennifer's torso. This also extends to the dialogue ("Boo, cross out Needy").
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • The studio built the entire marketing campaign on Megan Fox's hotness; she's often shown baring her legs, revealing cleavage, and otherwise just generally looking alluring.
    • Despite efforts to make her look less beautiful, Amanda Seyfried's attractive even so, and it really can't be hidden. Her form is often highlighted, plus she's got a sex scene (though it's not explicit).
    • They both get into the act with Jennifer and Needy making out in her bedroom.
  • Nerd Glasses: Needy wears them, as the integral part of her Hollywood Homely get-up.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Not only did the trailer contain some great one-liners cut out of the actual movie, but it also heavily played up the fanservice at the expense of the film's plot and themes. Karyn Kusama was not pleased.
  • Nice Guy: Chip and Colin. Needy was a Nice Girl before the events of the movie totally broke her.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Needy overhears Low Shoulder arguing about whether Jennifer is a virgin or not. Believing them to be just your run-of-the-mill sleazy bros trying to get into a small-town girl's pants, she tells them that Jennifer is a virgin because she has taste, and therefore they have no chance. Unfortunately for everybody in this movie, they actually want something a little more esoteric.
  • Nightmare Face: Jennifer, when feeding. She gains sharp little piranha-like teeth, her mouth splits open extremely wide, Glasgow Grin style, and she gains Hellish Pupils.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Chip invokes this when he says this about Jonas's mother: "She's staring out the window like a zombie mannequin robot statue."
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Jennifer is never called a vampire, despite meeting the standard criteria: a fanged, bloodthirsty undead creature of demonic nature with contagious bites who must feed on the living to retain her beauty and can only be killed by a weapon piercing her heart.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Played for some very dark laughs and also drama. After having a brutal fight with Jennifer and barely managing to kill her, Needy is found over the still warm body by Jennifer's mother. Needy gets incarcerated and put in a ward for the criminally insane, since obviously her claim about killing a man-eating demon isn't going to convince anyone.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Used to great effect shortly before Needy discovers Jennifer in her house. She knows something is off, but spends a good two minutes stumbling around a seemingly empty, silent house.
  • Obviously Evil: Nikolai, Low Shoulder's lead singer, is this in Needy's eyes.
    Needy: 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.
  • Odd Friendship: Jennifer and Needy. They have nothing in common but have been best friends since they were very young. Unfortunately, Jennifer is a pretty toxic friend even before she gets possessed.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: With a bit of creepy echoing whispers too.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Needy's first name is Anita, but almost no one uses it.
  • Our Demons Are Different: These possess non-virgins sacrificed in Satanic rituals, and give their hosts superhuman abilities in exchange for feeding roughly once a month. If that feeding isn't met, they fade away and cause their hosts to wither. They can be killed via a blade to the heart, and those who survive their bites can inherit their abilities.
  • Outliving One's Offspring:
    • Imagine being in the shoes of Jennifer's mother. You come into your daughter's bedroom, not suspecting a thing is wrong, only to find that she's been (or so it seems) murdered by her best friend.
    • Jonas and Colin's parents have to deal with the fact that their sons were brutally murdered and eaten.
    • Imagine also being Ahmet's parents. Your son goes on an exchange trip to a foreign country, only to presumably die in an out-of-control fire... except he's actually been eaten alive.
  • Out-of-Character Alert:
    • While not the nicest person before her possession, Jennifer's callous disregard for the deaths that resulted from the Melody Lane fire shocks Needy and is another tip-off that something is wrong with her friend.
    • Jennifer's also surprised when Needy uses the f word since she usually never swears, showing just how upset Needy's gotten.
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Needy and Chip’s bedrooms have some wall art, but Jennifer has a noticeably large and colorful array of posters above the headboard of her bed. All visible ones advertise real bands and media, with a Fall Out Boy poster being front and center.
  • Pink Is Erotic: Pink is used predominantly in the film and is associated with Jennifer, a sexually confident teenager who is possessed by a succubus who seduces men so she can eat them.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure:
  • Popular Is Dumb: Jennifer, who is far ditzier than the less popular Needy.
  • Power Floats: Jennifer is revealed as able to levitate post-possession. Later, we're shown that Needy also can. This 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 in-between 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 during 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's 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.
  • Psychosexual Horror: The story centers around Jennifer, a sexually confident teenager who is possessed by a succubus who seduces men so she can eat them. There are several implications that one of the themes in the story is how Jennifer is actually deeply insecure about being treated as a sex object and that she is dealing with her own attraction to her best friend Anita "Needy" Lesnicki.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The Devil's Kettle is a real waterfall. Half the river does disappear into the ground. Scientists have no idea where it comes back out. The town in the movie doesn't exist, however.
  • Really Gets Around: It's mentioned that Jennifer's very promiscuous, and lost her virginity in Junior High. This makes it all the more ironic that she's used in a virgin sacrifice.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After years of Jennifer being a toxic friend to her, it takes Needy seeing Jennifer devouring her boyfriend Chip for her to fight back and finally call her out on her BS during their fight at the pool scene.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After discovering that she has gained some of the demon's powers, Needy uses them to escape the prison psych ward, so she can track down and murder all of Low Shoulder.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Low Shoulder, the indie band that tries to sacrifice Jennifer to get a record deal.
  • 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 continually refers to Devil's Kettle as "Devil's Lake."
  • Scars Are Forever: In the end, Needy has itchy, irritated scars left on her by Jennifer, in what's implied to be months after killing her. To make it stand out more, her newfound Healing Factor allowed her to ditch her glasses, but the scars are still there.
  • 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 speck — she's relatively easy to miss, so for that shot at least, the lake is the emphasis.
  • Self-Harm: 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 Equals Death: Played with, then played straight. Jennifer is actually saved by sex...into a Fate Worse than Death (as a cannibalistic zombie/corpse). However, Colin and Jonas fall for this because they're ripped apart over the chance to have sex with Jennifer.
  • Sex Sells: Just watch the film's ad campaign. Heck, the film is named after it.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: Jennifer climbing out of the lake nude after she goes Skinny Dipping, shot from behind using Toplessness from the Back.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: When Jennifer kills Colin.
  • Shared Universe: With Lisa Frankenstein.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity
    • When Jennifer takes off her shirt to seduce Jonas, the camera doesn't pan below her shoulders, except for a brief Godiva Hair shot.
    • When Jennifer emerges from the lake and walks up to her clothes naked, the camera either stays above her collarbone or focuses on her bare feet and legs.
    • Similarly, when Needy is having sex with Chip, the camera stays above her breasts in the moments when she's not covered by him or something else.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Needy calls out Jennifer's toxic behavior in the poolhouse:
    Jennifer: (stuttering, visibly shaken by words) That is a joke. I am not insecure. How can you say I am insecure? I was the Snow Flake queen!
    Needy: Yeah, two years ago when you were socially relevant and when you didn’t need laxatives to stay skinny!
    Jennifer: I... am going to eat your soul... AND SHIT IT OUT, LESNICKI!
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Heard when Jennifer brutally snaps Colin's arm before she kills him.
  • Silly Prayer: Needy gives a surprisingly serious (but still darkly comic) one as she sees Jennifer eating Chip and prepares to kill her for real this time.
    Needy: St. Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes, please give me the power to totally crush this bitch.
  • 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.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: It 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.
  • Slumber Party: Discussed when Jennifer appears in Needy's bed and reminisces about the sleepovers she had with her. Jennifer also tries to invoke this by appearing in said bed and then suggesting she and Needy "play boyfriend and girlfriend like [they] used to."
  • 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 Jennifer.
  • 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.
  • Suburban Gothic: Jennifer is sacrificed to Satan in the woods behind a local bar and then becomes a succubus, eating her way through the boys at her suburban Minnesota high school.
  • Succubi and Incubi: Jennifer gets possessed by a succubus, whose influence amplifies her jerkass tendencies along with causing her to literally feed on men once she's seduced them.
  • 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 gains this power after being bitten by Jennifer.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Needy's ultimate fate. She doesn't get away with killing Jennifer nor achieves a victory of any kind, nor is she hailed a hero. She's put in a prison psych ward, likely to spend there rest of her days there, and probably only avoided general population due to her absolute conviction she was fighting against a succubus and the fact she's still a minor, which surely got her deemed psychotic. On top of that, all the trauma and suffering she went through the movie turns her into a bitter, cynical person with a particularly bleak stance on life and fellow humans who beats up orderlies regularly, then violently murders several men (who all definitely had it coming, but still). At the end she's free, but will likely have to remain as a fugitive for the rest of her life.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: In the end, when Needy goes to kill Low Shoulder for all they've done, the song "Violet" by Hole plays in the background with the lyrics almost sounding in tune with the situation of what's going on and referring to greed and instant payback.
  • Take That!: Some to Goth and Emo subcultures:
    • When Chip and Needy talk about Colin:
    Chip: How are you friends with Colin Gray? I thought Colin Gray only talked to the Dead Girls.
    Needy: I just am. We have Composition together. He's a really good writer. You know, he's so dark and emotional and all.
    Chip: Oh. I can relate. I'm also like that, even if I'm not all obvious about it like a poseur.
    • Jennifer mocks Colin when his arm gets cut by a pair of hedge clippers:
    Jennifer: Oh! A puncture wound. God, that's so emo.
    • She also says this about him:
    Jennifer: He listens to maggot rock. He wears nail polish. My dick is bigger than his.
  • That Woman Is Dead: After being well and truly broken, Needy states in a narration that she doesn't know who Needy Lesnicki is anymore.
  • Their First Time: Needy and Chip decide to have sex together the first time. It's tender and sweet, though a bit realistically awkward. Unfortunately, it's interrupted since Needy's seeing Jennifer's killing of Colin at the same time while they're having sex, seriously disturbing her, and so she breaks it off.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare:
  • Too Hungry to Be Polite: Jennifer, when she tries to eat the chicken from Needy's fridge. Unfortunately, succubi aren't prone to digest human food.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Needy, twice. First, when she gains enough resolve to confront and ultimately stop (read: kill) Jennifer. Then, she gets another after gaining some of the demon's powers and becoming institutionalized - by then she exercises her revange on Low Shoulder, brutally murdering the entire band for everything they've caused.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
  • Totally Radical: Some very fake-sounding "teen slang" gets used, including Jennifer saying "salty" to mean "hot".
  • Touched by Vorlons: Needy gains some of Jennifer's demon powers after being bitten by her. She uses them to break out of the prison psych ward and kill Low Shoulder.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Jennifer is a toxic friend to Needy even before becoming possessed by a demon.
  • Trauma Button: The song "Through The Trees" by Low Shoulder is this for Needy. Every time she hears it, she hates it and nearly bursts into tears because of it. It doesn't help that the same song plays even after tragic events like Melody Lane burning down, Jennifer disappearing with Low Shoulder, or Jonas found disemboweled in the woods.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The Jennifer-Colin and Needy-Chip sex scenes are made this way, with constant intercuts.
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: Played With. Jennifer is your standard queen bee and that goes on an overdrive when she becomes a succubus. Meanwhile Needy is a frumpy, nerdy girl — but she's still played by a dressed-down Amanda Seyfried.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: On the last night she was alive and human, Jennifer was saved from the burning bar building by her friend Needy, but she tells her to go away and leaves with Low Shoulder in their creepy van instead.
    Needy: Let's go, Jennifer.
    Jennifer: Needy, stop it!
  • Unusual Euphemism: Jennifer seems to make half of her lines in this.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: A rumor gets started that Low Shoulder rescued people from the bar fire, and everybody views them as heroes. Needy and Jennifer are apparently the only ones who don't buy it.
  • 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.
  • The Virus: Needy finds out that being scratched and bitten by Jennifer rubbed some of her succubus powers off on her - without the disadvantages Jennifer was suffering from.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Whenever Jennifer vomits up that demonic, spiny black sludge.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Jennifer and Needy start as best friends. Then Jennifer gets possessed by a succubus, and things go downhill fast.
  • With Friends Like These...: Jennifer walks all over Needy, although the latter is in denial about it until the very 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.
  • Wrongfully Committed: If you claim that a demon possessed your best friend and you've killed her to stop the demonic rampage, you don't end up saving the day. You end up arrested and placed in a psych ward. Poor Needy.


Video Example(s):


Lion Doorknocker

Jonas's grieving father makes a rather... colorful threat to his son's killer.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / FreudianThreat

Media sources: