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What Megan Fox Thinks Killed Jennifer's Body

Jennifer's Body, directed by Karyn Kusama (the same auteur who is now rebooting Dracula) and written by Diablo Cody, the screenwriter who penned the Oscar-winning script for Juno (a coming-of-age story that should be required viewing), was definitely not a hit when it came out in 2009. Starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried, the film is about a teenage girl who gets possessed, developing a taste for teenage boys. A literal taste. Fox plays the title character, Jennifer, while Seyfried is her best friend Anita, better known by the nickname "Needy."

A decade later, Jennifer's Body has finally found its audience and earned cult-classic status, with fans all over the world giving the film the respect and appreciation it arguably deserves. At first glance, Jennifer's Body appears to be a movie about a hot cheerleader killing cute guys for fun, something to simply appeal visually to teenage boys. That's what people thought the movie was created to be, but it wasn't, which is the main reason it disappointed moviegoers. When you advertise a movie as something it isn't, it's obviously going to fail.

Thankfully, society has given Jennifer's Body a second chance. Along with the movie, Fox is also getting some well-deserved respect and consideration after a long history of misrepresentation, and she still constantly gets asked about Jennifer's Body and what she thinks led to its initial failure. In an interview with Collider for her new action thriller Rogue, Fox commented on why Jennifer's Body didn't do well when released, along with its recent pop-culture rehabilitation and lasting legacy.

Megan Fox cites Jennifer's Body's horrible marketing as the key reason it initially failed

Jennifer's Body is a nuanced satire on society, sexism, and many issues very relevant today, and let's just say it all went over the marketing team's head, who took it at face value as a movie to showcase Fox's sex appeal — and nothing else. Addressing the film's release, Fox stated that everyone behind the film was "taken aback ... by how the studio marketed that movie, which was outrageous, and by how it was received."

Fox and Kusama have previously spoken about what exactly happened with the marketing, like during Beyond Fest's screening for the film's ten-year anniversary. Before Jennifer's Body's original release, the movie was only screened to audiences of "males aged 18-24," very much not the film's target audience. Their feedback was solely focused on seeing more of Fox's figure. When Kusama contacted the marketing team about their choices, she "tried to be diplomatic, and what [she] got back was essentially, 'Megan hot. Focus on Megan hot.'" For Jennifer's Body, the film is about the patriarchal system and how damaging it is to women. Kusama stated that she found the critics' overly sexist response "to be a really fascinating reflection of what the movie was actually about."

In comparison to a lot of her past roles, Fox shared that "it was a relief" to not have to be sexualized in her new movie Rogue, directed by M.J. Bassett, in which she plays a battle-hardened mercenary on a rescue mission in Africa that goes awry.

Why Jennifer's Body is now seen as a horror cult classic

Fox's character Jennifer is seen as the seductive girl at school with the persona of "man-eater" forced upon her, when in reality, she's just a young girl who wants to be liked. While the simple plot of a demonic cheerleader killing boys is a part of Jennifer's Body, the movie holds so much more significance in how it breaks down many still prevalent societal issues through the story of Jennifer and Needy. It addresses everything from sexual assault and the over-sexualization of teenage girls, to female rivalry and toxic masculinity.

Really looking at Jennifer's Body, the film is a revenge story way ahead of its time, subverting stereotypes of the genre and female characters in general with Cody's unique humor and sarcasm. After being manipulated, assaulted, and literally murdered by a boy band, Jennifer is revived as a demon that can only survive by eating boys. The band uses her sexuality to their gain, so then Jennifer fights back, using her sexuality to trap and kill men to get revenge. Fair's fair, right?

Many writers have written retrospective pieces on the movie, highlighting how successful the film would be if it came out today, with Fox's Jennifer being admired for her demonic rampage even more than she already is. Simply put, Jennifer's Body is like feminist Carrie on steroids, wrapped in an entertaining, gory horror-comedy. What's not to like?