Jennifer’s Body is an incredible film and Megan Fox did an amazing job in portraying her titular role. However, when it first came out, critics and viewers totally criticized and panned the movie and even the actress herself. Hollywood treated her so poorly. It made her think that she was “shit” at acting for over a decade. Clearly, that was and has never been the case. Her raw talent and acting prowess go virtually unnoticed because of a bunch of male directors and producers in Hollywood feeding us some ‘bad’ narrative.
We owe Megan Fox an apology for Jennifer’s Body
In case you didn’t know, Jennifer’s Body revolves around the story of Jennifer Check becoming possessed by a succubus aka a man-eating demon. Fun, right? Her mousy best friend Anita “Needy” Lesnicki (Amanda Seyfried) learns the fact and tries to deal with it on her own. However, the marketing campaign for the movie didn’t accurately depict the story.
Director Karyn Kusama and screenwriter Diablo Cody wanted to make a movie for young women, specifically teen girls. However, the trailers and posters made it seem that the movie targets an audience of young straight males. The marketing had focused their entire ad campaign on Megan’s sex appeal.
There was even an outrageously bad marketing suggestion that would have involved Fox to host an amateur porn site to promote the film. Kusama and Cody saw the movie as a horror film but the marketing team sees it in a different way. Jennifer’s Body has always been a good horror movie and everyone should have gone on its level.
Jennifer’s Body is amazing. Periodt.
Jennifer and Needy have been best friends since childhood. Check was a popular cheerleader while Lesnicki remains her shy and virginal follower. After devil-worshipping indie rock band, Low Shoulder attempted to sacrifice Jennifer, she becomes possessed by a demon who is hungry for human flesh. The new, homicidal Jennifer only gains her strength through eating and killing her male classmates. The movie mixed dark humor with deep-seated demonic issues.
Even on paper, the premise sounds awesome. The movie carried on being a wickedly funny retro slasher blend with a dash of feminism. That’s why I find it particularly frustrating that the movie suddenly became “timely” in the #MeToo era as if abuse and exploitation of women in a patriarchal society is merely part of a recent trend. It’s not a trend! Maybe that also became the reason why Hollywood strongly rejected this movie, because it catered to women’s empowerment and authority over their own bodies.
Jennifer was a victim.
The titular character may be a mean girl with demonic tendencies and her murderous rampage sets her up as someone who needs to be stopped. But, she’s also a victim. She’s a beautiful girl with low self-esteem who has been taught that her entire self-worth is wrapped up in her looks and her sex appeal. She was literally sacrificed, stabbed several times, and killed in a ritual just for a group of men’s gain.
Repeat after me: “Megan Fox, you’re an amazing actress.”
The movie managed to effectively merge the campier elements of horror with teen high school drama to great success. Sure, people would say that the movie has “calculated eroticism” that will “make you long for the tyranny of the male gaze.” But, that’s the thing! When Jennifer began her killing spree, she targeted the boys of her high school because of their lust over her perfect body. She owned her body and her hotness. She used that to her advantage and a ticket to an easy meal.
Jennifer, as a woman was used for men’s gain, specifically for indie rock fame. So, she used her sexuality to cope with this violation, feeding on those who once objectified her. This concept should have been celebrated, not mocked. Plus, the reason she becomes a succubus in the first place, strongly opposes the common horror trope. This theme involved the thought of the woman can only be saved due to her sexual experiences or lack thereof.
Jennifer’s Body is and will always be a violent feminist tale way ahead of its time. If this movie came out today, Megan Fox would have been dubbed as the feminist revenge hero of our time. I am serious. You can even @ me on that.
Angela Grace P. Baltan has been writing professionally since 2017. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. Aside from that, she has an affinity for writing anything under the sun. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, the LGBTQIA+ community, and mental health among others.