Jennifer’s Body is the kind of film that I could split up into three categories. I predicted some level of twist and my mind began racing through all of the possible avenues that the film could have gone with. As a result, I thought to make this ‘If I Was Writing It’ article a little different, I would split it into three sections. ‘What Actually Happened’, ‘What I Thought Was Going to Happen’ and ‘What Would Happen If I Was Writing It’. Jennifer’s Body wasn’t the greatest of movies out there and despite a script that was impressive, it didn’t win over many critics (including myself). However, this made me even more determined to save it, so let me know how you think my version of the story would have gone.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED
There wasn’t so much of a twist. Near the end, it began heavily hinting towards the ending predicted in the next paragraph, but to my surprise, and dismay, it never really went there. It decided to go for the more traditional ending. The main problem with these satirical teen horrors is that a lot of the time, they end up doing nothing new with the genre, so they accidentally slip into your bog-standard teen horror nonetheless. However, I must admit I did enjoy how Amanda Seyfried’s character, Needy, ended up looking like she had butchered Jennifer, therefore making her out to be the assumed killer. That was a nice touch and despite, there being a few better directions available, I liked that they tried something moderately different.
WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN
I thought that Jennifer’s Body was going to go down the ‘It’s All In Needy’s Head’ route. Admittedly, this plot device has come up far too much recently and I am beginning to get sick of it, but I thought Jennifer’s Body had a chance of doing it right. Why? Well, all of the foreshadowing was there. Personally, I would have probably criticised this reveal, as the movie opened with Needy stalking Jennifer and then showing Needy in an asylum. When I began thinking that Needy was imagining Jennifer, then I remembered those first two scenes and thought that it had shown its hand far too early. In fact, looking back, some of the clues I thought were being dropped seem totally pointless in hindsight. I thought they were clever references to the supposed twist coming up, but in truth, they weren’t even important to the story.
It was just the way Needy always seemed like she was coming off the rails. Her boyfriend thought she was obsessed with Jennifer. She was clearly a lost soul in a high school setting, one of writer Diablo Cody’s main points. I thought that she was escaping into fantasy, imagining that Jennifer was turning into a demon to help her cope with high school drama. She was clearly jealous of her friend, Jennifer, but also almost in love with her. I thought that the kiss scene between Seyfried and Jennifer was the climax of the clues (Seyfried was imagining her ending up with Jennifer), but it turned out that it was just an excuse to get some girl-on-girl into the movie. I… I actually can’t be too angry about that, but still, I thought that it was hinting towards a bigger picture. I assumed the ending would involve Needy’s boyfriend, getting dumped when she became too obsessed about this imagined spree of killing. Jennifer would end up comforting (or seducing in Needy’s eyes), him and Needy would snap and murder Jennifer, therefore freeing the world from this demon. In truth, she would be killing an innocent woman and getting sent to an asylum.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN: IF I WAS WRITING IT
I would have taken that idea and moved it one step further. In my movie, none of Jennifer’s murders would have actually been seen on-screen. It would have shown Jennifer coming onto all of these teenage boys, but then it would cut away and show the dead body the next morning. It would be heavily implied that Jennifer is the demon going around killing everyone, but at the same time, there wouldn’t actually be any proof. You see, Jennifer isn’t a demon at all. Like above, it is all in Needy’s head, but the truth goes further: the demon isn’t inside Jennifer, it is inside Needy!
Cut back to the gig where the Indie band curse Jennifer. The whole ‘drag Jennifer away in a van’ would have been a sleight of hand. The audience would be focused on that, assuming that the curse happened in that fashion, when in truth, the actual demonic spell was a lot simpler. Maybe it was the sharing of a drink between one of the members and Needy. It would have been breezed over, but when it was revealed at the end, we would feel stupid for totally missing it. Then it becomes clear that Needy is both obsessive over Jennifer and also killing people that ask her out, or she shows interest in.
It would also give Megan Fox a lot more to do by the end. Don’t get me wrong, Fox isn’t as bad as people make her out to be here, but there is still a sense that she clings to her comfort zone. She plays sexy and funny, basically taking the ‘Mean Girls’ theme and running with it. There is a sense that someone really wanted to cast Lindsey Lohan as Jennifer, but she was too mentally unstable at the time to make it work. However, maybe people would have respected Fox a bit more, if it turned out that she wasn’t the demon at all, but in fact, the hero. She would have had to suddenly change her character into the person that has to stop Needy. The ending would have also been better. If I could trust the director with the horror scenes she failed at before, I think that the finale could have been very creepy, another thing Jennifer’s Body sorely needed. Someone would be dying, so the stakes would have been raised very high.
I think that those little changes would have added a bit of intelligence to the film and raised it above the sub-standard horror flick. Or maybe I am just being… Needy. Sorry, couldn’t resist. I’ll leave.