Extra Salty: Jennifer’s Body

ECW. (Pop Classics, Bk. 11). Oct. 2021. 112p. ISBN 9781770415898. pap. $14.95. FILM
Blichert (Serenity) takes a deep dive into the genre-spanning film Jennifer’s Body (2009), which featured Megan Fox as a high school cheerleader killed in a ritualistic sacrifice by musicians who believe that killing a virgin will launch their band to indie stardom. Because Jennifer wasn’t a virgin, she is resurrected with a demonic appetite. Only her best friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) is aware that Jennifer has become a literal man-eater—and only Needy can stop her. Blichert notes that the film, which was marketed as a sexy thriller for teen boys, did badly at the box office but has since become a cult film. He examines the movie’s themes, including female friendship, toxic relationships, and gender politics, and illustrates how it has developed an audience and has undergone a reappraisal in the wake of #MeToo (as has Fox). Blichert also considers the backlash against Fox and writer Diablo Cody and how audiences have gotten better at evaluating horror in general, as evinced by the critical acclaim for titles like Get Out and Hereditary. It’s key that Blichert isn’t offering a defense of the film—he argues that it has always been great.
VERDICT This book presumes the reader is familiar with the film and works best for fans looking to dig into an extended think piece. Blichert’s breezy but insightful writing style makes for a quick read.
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