Jennifer’s Body and the Horrific Female Gaze

Comedy-horror Jennifer’s Body, starring Megan Fox, is a case study in how camera framing, subversive writing, and self-aware characters can bring a female point of view to an overwhelmingly male genre. Yet when the film premiered it was met with negative reviews from audiences and critics alike. Director Karyn Kusama and screenwriter Diablo Cody hoped the film would appeal to teenage girls, but the studio insisted on marketing Fox’s sex appeal to men, a strategy that garnered misogynistic reviews.

Then, over the years, Jennifer’s Body quietly became a cult classic, loved by fans of genre films and gaining public praise for addressing predatory male behavior long before this was reckoned with in the mainstream. Jennifer’s Body cemented its place in feminist horror by reclaiming the revenge story formula for women, to focus less on what’s done to them and more about what they feel as they navigate a world that doesn’t always value them.