Jennifer's Body

  • Review Date: September 9, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Glossy teen horror-comedy is full of gore and sex.
  • Review Date: September 9, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Considering that one character becomes a demonic killing machine and another goes on a killing rampage to avenge her, it's hard to find any positive messages here.

Positive role models

With its cast of murderous rock stars, sex-machine killing demons, and vengeful girl warriors, there are no truly positive role models in the film (though an argument could be made for the movie promoting a form of "girl power").

Violence

Gory violence: A young woman is stabbed to death as part of a satanic ritual; several people are devoured in bloody fashion by a demon that has possessed a young woman, with shredding of flesh, blood, etc. A fire at a bar kills several people; also stabbings, punches, kicks, and self-mutilation. Dead bodies are seen in crime-scene footage.

Sex

Lots of sex. Teens have consensual, safe sex; male and female nudity, reference to condom use. Nude female buttocks. Two young women make out in an extended scene. Plenty of naughty talk about sex and virginity -- "I'm not even a backdoor virgin," for example, and much more. Talk of flashing breasts to get served alcohol.

Language

Constant strong language, including (but in no way limited to) "f--k," "motherf--ker," "s--t," "hell," "ass," "t-ts," "damn," "dick," "dillhole," "goddamn," "retarded," "porking," and much, much more.

Consumerism

Many products/brands are mentioned by name -- including (but not limited to) Vagisil, Monastat, MySpace, Chevy, The Cheesecake Factory, and many more -- but more as a way to make the dialogue sound cool/up-to-date than in a particularly promotional/salesy manner.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens drink hard liquor and beer, sometimes to excess; characters smoke cigarettes; references to peyote; cocaine use is implied in photographs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while teens will be clamoring to see this darkly funny horror movie -- which stars Transformers' Megan Fox and was written by Juno's Diablo Cody -- it's full of gory demonic violence, sex (including partial nudity, same-sex kissing, and a pervasive tone of sex as a game, a competition, and even a prelude to murder), constant strong language (from "f--k" to "s--t" and more), teen drinking, and more. Teens who watch expecting an offbeat screwball comedy like Juno will be in for a huge shock. Parents also need to know that this review is for the rated version of the film.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In a small town, Jennifer (Megan Fox) and "Needy" (Amanda Seyfried) are unlikely best friends. Then Jennifer is murdered in a Satanic ritual by a rock band whose members hope that sacrificing her will give them the big break they need. But a flaw in the ceremony -- turns out, when the instructions say "sacrifice a virgin," you can't get away with any substitutions -- means that Jennifer is now posessed by a hungry demonic spirit bent on murder. Can Needy stop her best friend's killing rampage?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Directed by Karyn Kusama, JENNIFER'S BODY is a sexed-up, glossy take on the traditional high school horror film, with plenty of Diablo Cody's zingy (some would say overly zingy) dialogue to add pep to the proceedings -- plus the presence of pin-up sex symbol Fox as the titular slayer. The movie works as a guilty pleasure thanks to its general air of grisly goofiness. And Seyfried's performance anchors the film in just enough emotional reality to make the film's plot matter.

Kusama's direction may take a backseat to Cody's script, Fox's performance, and the grisly special effects, but the end result is a fun if frightening night out for older teens and 20-somethings. Anyone else will be too removed from high school (or too overwhelmed by the pace and pitch of Cody's dialogue)  to be very moved by the stakes and action. Cody's follow-up to Juno won't be another Oscar nominee, but it earns a gory glory all its own. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the film's mingling of sex and violence/death -- why do so many horror films make this link? Does the film use Fox's pin-up girl image for dramatic effect?

  • What is the movie saying about sexual competetiveness between girls? Why do these issues get fought out in this way? What motivates girls to fight, and fight the way they do, in close friendships?

  • Why do you think so many horror films take place in or around high school? What does that say about being a teenager?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 18, 2009
DVD release date:December 29, 2009
Cast:Amanda Seyfried, J.K. Simmons, Megan Fox
Director:Karyn Kusama
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Horror
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sexuality, bloody violence, language and brief drug use

This review of Jennifer's Body was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written bylulatula December 13, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Monster Horror film

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byJasonMovie October 19, 2014
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Good but not very scary lacks quality

A violent sex rampage is good only when it is scary and you should now what they are like
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bylildee14143 January 9, 2014
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

It was ok

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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