Jennifer’s Body, Jennifer Check Redeemed

For this week’s Femme Fatale Friday, I have chosen the titular character from one of my favorite films of the last twenty years.   Jennifer Check is one of the two lead characters in the film Jennifer’s Body, which was written by Diablo Cody.   Jennifer Check was portrayed by Megan Fox in this 2009 cult classic.

This film was famously hated upon its release, but that is mostly due to the fact that they chose to market the film to Frat Boys instead of the real target audience of young women.    In recent years, the film is getting recognized for being witty and a brilliantly done dark comedy horror mash-up.   Both Diablo Cody and Megan Fox have discussed the impact of the film, and how it is now seen as a modern cult classic.

Now that I have covered the background of the film, I will go on to the plot and Jennifer.   Jennifer is the best friend of Needy, who is the good girl to Jennifer’s sexy femme fatale energy.   Needy is portrayed by Amanda Seyfried in the film.    Jennifer and Needy have been best friends since they were little girls, even though being seen on different terms.   Where Needy is seen as socially awkward and nerdy, Jennifer is popular and seen as the girl everyone wants to bed.   In the pivotal scenes at the beginning of the film, we see the girls going to a concert at the local bar.   The lead singer of the band, Low Shoulder (played amazingly funny by Adam Brody) takes a liking to Jennifer.   He believed she was a virgin.   Thanks to Needy this lie is confirmed, obviously, Jennifer is not a virgin but Needy thought that lying would get the guy to no longer focus his attention on her friend.

After a freak accident of a fire ravages the bar, the girls and the band get out safely.   Jennifer goes to the band’s van, leaving with them while Needy returns home.   This choice would lead to Jennifer being sacrificed in a satanic ritual in order for Low Shoulder to get their coveted record deal!   Now, later in the film, after Jennifer explained the situation to Needy, it is explained that the reason Jennifer became a man-eating demon was that the band tried to sacrifice a virgin who was not actually pure!

Jennifer quickly realized that the way she could keep herself healthy and practically unkillable was by feeding on boys.   She would lure in the boys with her sexuality and then eat them to satisfy her bloodlust.   There are many references to the special link between Jennifer and Needy, as when Jennifer is killing and eating Colin and Needy has a vision while having sex with her own boyfriend.   This psychic link between the girls is a unique way to show that neither is all bad nor all good.   There is some of each in the other, like a yin and yang balance.

Eventually at the semi-formal Jennifer set her sights on Needy’s boyfriend because Needy’s lack of acceptance of her friend’s new nature pissed Jennifer off.   Jennifer does succeed in killing Needy’s boyfriend, Chip, in one of the most iconic scenes in the film.   Later on, Needy killed Jennifer, which is what got her institutionalized, as we first saw her.   Needy goes on to explain that because she was bitten by Jennifer in their confrontation she got some of her powers.   She used them to break out of the asylum and then killed the band in the end!

I personally believe that Jennifer is often misunderstood as simply the mean girl or the femme fatale.   In reality, she was a young woman just beginning her life.   She was unafraid to embrace her sexuality, which ended up getting her killed and turning her into a demon.   I think the film does a great job of showing us how women who are willing to embrace their sexuality and live the lives they want to be are seen as sluts or bimbos (which is a moniker being reclaimed for empowerment now).   Truthfully, Jennifer was ambitious, wanting life more than the small town one she had.   She was talented and determined, but her life was cut short due to her becoming a victim of men.   However, she refused to be a victim, instead, she became the assailant that would take retribution by killing others.   In some ways, I can see this film as being a more comic and light-hearted take on the premise of I Spit on Your Grave, while there the woman tortured and killed men that raped her, here Jennifer eats boys that would wish to do the same to her after being killed and becoming a demonic succubus!   In the end, she gets killed but does not die entirely, as she remains partially alive within Needy.   Honestly, Jennifer deserved better than to have been abused and killed just so some subpar musicians could make a deal with the devil!   I hope that you have enjoyed this analysis of Jennifer Check.   Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is Jennifer in the climactic scene of the film.   I found the image on

Further Watching

  • Jennifer’s Body (2009)