“Jennifer’s Body” Discussion Questions

Write a paragraph or two responding to each of the following prompts:

What is the significance of the title “Jennifer’s Body”? When responding to this question, you may want to consider any horror genre tropes related to that particular name. Further, you might explore why the title of the film explicitly refers to her “body” rather than merely being named after the character. Finally, you may want to address why Jennifer is the title character when the protagonist is clearly Anita, also known as Needy.

What is this film saying about women and Christianity with all its imagery of crosses and X marks and with its sacrificial female figure of Jennifer Check (with the initials J.C. no less), who at one point declares, “I am a God”? There might not be any clear answers here, but the references merit some exploration, especially since they are too pervasive to ignore.

What does this film suggest about the relationship between male rock musicians and young women (and their bodies)? As you explore this, be sure to consider both the “groupie” and deal-with-the-devil aspects. You may also want to explore the references to other bands and songs, the band’s pop-punk image and name, Low Shoulder, how they cynically capitalize on high school tragedies to advance their own agenda, and how their typical male attitudes and assumptions ultimately make them vulnerable to retribution.

Considering how well-written, well-directed, and genuinely provocative “Jennifer’s Body” is now recognized to be, why do you think this film failed to resonate with critics and audiences eleven years ago? In answering this question, you may want to ponder what things have changed for us culturally since 2009. Have #MeToo and #TimesUp changed how we view movies like “Jennifer’s Body”?

Published by Chuck Caruso

writer of dark fiction (crime, horror & western noir), literary & textual scholar (american gothic, noir, po-co, sf), and cultural critic

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