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What "Jennifer's Body" Predicted | The New Yorker

Jennifer’s Body, a 2009 horror movie, was directed by Karyn Kosama. Written by Diablo Cody and starring two high school students, it is a story about two teenage girls who meet at high school. The one becomes demonically possessed and is cannibalized by boys. While the other is cautiously confronted, the change is made. It struck me at the time as a humorous satire on the brazen vanity of young men, and high school trivia that recklessly misunderstands both metaphysics and politics. It will be available on Tubi for free and Amazon Prime subscribers for free starting Wednesday. I think the film’s mocking tone is far less important than the anguish it portrays. I also find its politics less apparent in the drama and intentions of the characters, than it is from its overwhelming symbolic power and intricate premise. The movie’s details could drown in the frantic, bloody action but the subtlety and absorbence of them are part of the story.

Megan Fox plays Jennifer Check, the title character. She is the cheerleader at Devil’s Kettle’s high school. The waterfall that is named after the city is fictional. It’s open-minded, sassy, ​​stylish, cynical, and confident; Knowing that she is considered beautiful and desirable, she uses her charm to have adventurous fun. The nerdy, stylish Anita Lesnicki (Amanda Seyfried), who is apparently her best friend, is what she calls Needy. She’s a classic wingwoman. The unlikely friendship began in childhood, or as Jennifer says, in the sandpit. Jennifer decides to meet Needy at a local bar / roadhouse to hear an out-oftown band perform. Needy is seductive enough to match Jennifer’s style, but not too much.

Like the rest of the film, Needy narrates a scene in which the girls prepare for the concert. She tells the story from her perspective, and the film is shown as a long retrospective from a mental institution in which Needy is held involuntarily. Guards and other prisoners know her for her insubordination and violence. Needy kicked Candus Churchill, a nutritionist in her face. Needy is then placed in solitary confinement where she begins to tell the story about Jennifer and Jennifer two months prior. At the bar called Melody Lane, Jennifer tries to hang out with lead singer Nikolai (Adam Brody) in an ingenious way – at least a high school student’s idea of ​​what is demanding – by getting him the house specialty drink, a “9/11 Tribute Shooter” (although she is a minor herself and knows that to get these drinks she has to flash the bartender). Nikolai, another falsely sophisticated kid from a small town (one who pretends to hail from Brooklyn), speaks to Jennifer with misogynistic condescension, mistaking her as a girl he has been using to get her virginity.

The Melody Lane trip is so full of meaning and emotion that it gives the film the greatest power. The band is playing, and Jennifer gets so excited that she squeezes Needy’s hand tight enough to leave a mark. A fire quickly breaks out in the club’s ceilings and captures many guests. Jennifer freezes in terror, but Needy pulls Jennifer to the bathroom where they can escape through a small high window. The band and she make it to the parking garage safely, while others watch and die as they run off. Jennifer appears to be dissociated. Nikolai invites Jennifer and the two girls into his van and makes them have a drink. Needy resists and tries unsuccessfully to dissuade Jennifer. Although she appears to be willing to go with Nikolai’s wishes, it is clear that Needy cannot agree. She said that Needy was certain that something awful was about to happen when she drove the van off.

Nikolai and his group of friends abuse Jennifer in a horrible and violent manner. However, the flashback is only shown later in the film when Needy finally hears the story. After the fire, Needy comes home alone that night. Jennifer, who is horribly injured and dripping with blood, shows up at her kitchen. Jennifer tears up Needy’s fried chicken, then yells, chokes, and vomits what appears liters (or more) of black blood. Then she kisses Needy on the neck like a vampire kiss.

Jennifer seems unharmed the next day at school. Her teacher JK Simmons discusses the eight students who perished in the fire. Chip Simmons (Needy) confides in Needy about the horrible sight of Jennifer bloodied in the kitchen just hours earlier. Chip recommends that Needy see a psychologist at school, even though she doesn’t openly believe her. After school that day, Jennifer seduces Jonas (College Football Player) in the woods and begins to strip him. The murder remains unsolved. Jennifer continues her terror campaign and kills other male classmates. Needy observes that everyone at school is saddened by the increasing tragedies. Jennifer is the exception. Needy is able to see Jennifer as the killer through telepathic visions.

If there is a telepathic link between the two girls then it is in large part based on fear of forced silence and realization that both the horrors they experienced and the resolution to them went unnoticed. The film’s plot offers a supernatural balance to justice that is often doomed in real life. Jennifer’s victims all share one thing in common: they are attracted to Jennifer and seduced without any interest in or relationship with her. Jennifer’s survival is dependent (for supernatural reasons), on her ability satisfy her cannibalized, vampiric hunger and continue her plan of revenge. It is a matter between life and death that her silent duplicity to Needy, basically her gaslighting on Needy, is evident. The film depicts the metaphysical revenge of Jennifer on a world or half of a world.

However, the power of the idea – Jennifer and Needy’s silent face in the face a brutal young patriarchy– is oddly subordinated by the film. Its ambiguous aesthetic either distracts from it with irony, or spoils the film with boisterous spectacle. The film’s first scene features Cody’s lively, rattling banter, which Cody adorns teenage lives with. Jennifer and Needy refer to each other as “Vagisil” and “Monistat” in these brief moments of joy. Jennifer refers to the barfire as “white garbage roast pork” while Needy speaks out about the “tragedy” of the deadly fire. The script includes a variety of pop culture references, with a humorous spin. These include Phil Collins (Needy never heard of him), Maroon 5 (“held up by Nikolai as a hero”) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (“Jennifer believes it’s only one Boxing movie). The film’s fake slang bounces off the high school hallways. However, it has a very ornamental effect. Cody’s dazzling script seems set Kusama’s direction, overriding the wild and focused ideas.

The film mocks the hypocrisy of small town life by allowing the band to profit from the tragic fire and write a song about the event that becomes a national dirge, making them local heroes for Jennifer’s class. The twist goes beyond mockery of maudlin expressions public sentiment. When Needy calls the group to discuss their dirty business, Chastity (Valerie Tian), a girl from Asia, defends them for their noble gesture. It is a strange symbolic representation of women who are willing to take on predatory men. The film’s great design is incompletely supported by the characters and the local context. The film’s cast and characters are also narrow-minded, ignorantly divided. Chastity, the nutritionist who attacks Needy (Dan Joffre), Raymundo (Dan Joffre), who Raymundo condescends to Needy) and Ahmet (Aman Johal), an exchange student whose only name is ” Ahmet” from India) are treated as mere drama props.

“Jennifer’s Body”, which depicts young women facing danger, ridicule, dismissal and abuse, as well as the desperate, self-destructive attempts to confront it, anticipates the enormous power of films such last year’s Promising Youth Woman. It also anticipates the film’s aesthetic blind spots. Both films are more enjoyable as examples of ideas than they are as experiences. In “Jennifer’s Body”Although the concept of adding a pessimistic metaphysical element to the story – which suggests that there is no way out except through supernatural interventions, divine or spiritual – is great conceptually, it’s poorly directed. Twin Peaks’ potential successor was made possible by the film’s angry and empathic foundation and its supernatural superstructure. Its ideas and implications, as well as its somewhat flawed and perverted world structure are worth considering.

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