Jennifer’s Body is a horror comedy film featuring an all-star cast. The film didn’t make a solid impact upon its release, owing largely to the marketing being precisely what the film sought to criticize: the over-sexualization of women and girls and their exploitation at the hands of powerful men. As such, a list of movies like Jennifer’s Body might not be quite what you’d imagine it to be.
Unless you’re one of the people that turned this iconic film into a cult classic. In which case, this list is exactly what you’re expecting it to be.
Horror Movies Like Jennifer’s Body
Jennifer’s Body is an ode to a certain brand of old-school horror, one that was specifically popular during the ‘80s. One filled with witty razor-like quips and a whole lot of blood, guts, and gore. As such, it’s hard not to associate the image of a teenage girl in a blood-soaked white dress wreaking supernaturally-backed havoc on her peers with Carrie.
Based on the gothic-horror novel of the same name by Stephen King, this film follows the titular Carrie, a teenage girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers. And when the bullying from her peers and abuse from her family reach peak levels, she unleashes her wrath and everyone who ever wronged her. And then some.
The film was remade in 2013 starring Chloë Grace Moretz. While not everyone thought it lived up to the original, many lauded the film for being able to craft relatable, sympathetic characters. Carrie’s trauma is explored quite well, and Moretz’s performance in the role was praised.
Black Swan (2010)
Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis star in this psychological horror film that revolves around Tchaikovsky’s Black Swan ballet, the grueling lives of understudies, and the notion of being haunted by a double or doppelgänger. What results is one of the most chilling horror films in modern cinema.
The life of a ballerina is notoriously stressful, both on the mind and the body. And the life of an actor, especially one that engages in method, can take its toll on the performer’s very soul. Watching Portman’s Nina Sayers throw herself into the role of a lifetime even at the cost of her sanity is at once relatable and terrifying.
The Craft (1996)
Three high school witches complete their coven when they recruit the new girl into their club. But when their spells progress from a flawless dye job to throwing someone who irked them out a window, they begin to realize they may have bitten off more than they could chew.
The Craft is a timeless cult classic. It is distinctly ‘90s, of course, with everything from the fashion to the script to the color grading dating the film pretty easily. Yet it still holds up. So much so, it was given a sequel slash soft reboot in the form of the 2020 movie, The Craft: Legacy.
Once again, not everyone is a fan of reboots, especially of cult classics. But this film does manage to pave its own way, offering some new plots and interesting little twists along the way.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)
This one might surprise even the all-knowing Jennifer’s Body fans that thought they’d know what was in store for them with this list.
Twilight is a series of films about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire. The movies offer a somber color scheme and several instances of pure silence to build tension, but overall, it remains a love story. So when people went to theaters to watch the third installment in the saga and were treated to some of the most horrifying visuals to ever be included in a romantic movie, they left mortified.
Breaking Dawn Part 1 revolves around the consummation of Edward and Bella’s marriage and the resulting half-human half-vampire baby. The pregnancy takes its toll on Bella, and watching her endure a slow, bone-crushing death is definitely the stuff of nightmares. If blood and gore is your thing, and you enjoy it with a side of romance and a touch of the supernatural, you’re going to enjoy this part of the Twilight saga!
Wes Craven’s iconic slasher film Scream redefined the genre. It brought to the forefront just how entertaining a good horror film could be. And it did so at a time when the horror genre seemed to be fizzling out.
Jennifer’s Body, like many other horror movies over the decades since, clearly pays homage to movies like Scream in their cinematography, writing, and portrayal of blood and gore. But more importantly. It blends horror and satire flawlessly, much as Scream did way back when.
Scream follows Sidney, a teen terrorized by a killer while still grieving the murder of her own mother a year prior. How do you solve a mystery with no clues, when everyone is a suspect and you’re running for your life? Well, mostly with a whole lot of screaming and bleeding.
Mean Girls (2004)
Outside of its classic horror, Jennifer’s Body is also a fantastic comedy. Its target audience is, of course, teen girls and young women. As such, the humor isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Nonetheless, it has managed to transcend its specific audience and find a larger fan following. One it shares with another iconic teen girl comedy, Mean Girls.
Mean Girls follows previously home-schooled Kady as she takes on a high school in a new town. She quickly finds herself being pulled in several directions, including being an outcast, being the straight-A student, and being the new Queen Bee.
What made Mean Girls so iconic was that it satirized the high school experience and its portrayal on-screen while also speaking to some very real issues, mainly bullying as well as toxic female friendships. Many movies have attempted to recreate the magic of this film and failed. Including the much-maligned sequel that we don’t talk about. Some comedies have, however, managed to craft films around similar topics and experiences, all while being wickedly funny.
Warm Bodies (2013)
While not overtly romantic, Jennifer’s Body layers in elements of romance. Jennifer and Needy’s codependent friendships are depicted in all their toxic glory, and as the story progresses, the layers are peeled back to reveal an even more convoluted relationship beneath. The relationships the two have with others range from lust to love, but their story remains at the heart of the film.
Warm Bodies is a horror-comedy that focuses on the romance between a zombie whose life has lost all meaning and a girl he meets at a party. Unlike most zombie films, this one is from the perspective of the zombie. One whose cold heart (and body) is thawed through the power of love. Cliché, yet heartwarmingly portrayed in this film.
Pet Semetary (1989)
Another iconic adaptation of a Stephen King novel, Pet Semetary revolves around the idea that the laws of nature are absolute. One must never try to cheat death, and one must certainly never attempt to reanimate the corpse of a deceased loved one.
When a family moves into a new home in a small town and discovers their backyard houses a burial ground that can bring the dead back to life, they do what any sane family would do. They bring back the dead. And that, of course, works out quite well for them. As one would expect.
Happy Death Day (2017)
What do you get when you splice Groundhog Day with the slasher genre? A self-aware black slasher comedy that sees a college student relive the day of her murder over and over until she can finally figure out who killed her.
Unlike the classic slasher films, Happy Death Day offers a pretty surprisingly layered lead character. She starts out as a stereotypical mean girl and gradually grows as a person. Then again, being murdered every day is bound to spark some sort of change in anyone.
Another fun aspect of this film is the increasingly creative ways it tries to murder its leading lady. One particularly amusing one even includes a bong.
Christopher Landon, who directed Happy Death Day, has delivered some truly top-tier horror films. These include found-footage films, like the Paranormal franchise, as well as some beloved yet underrated gems like 2015’s Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. So it’s no surprise that a more recent venture of his, Freaky, was also lauded for both its wit as well as its classic horror elements.
Much like with Happy Death Day, Freaky blends some rather familiar tropes. Specifically, the switcheroo we see in movies like Freaky Friday and Hot Chick. In this case, however, our teen protagonist switches bodies with a deranged serial killer. And, as if that weren’t horrifying enough, she has only 24 hours to switch back or it sticks.
“Do You Like Scary Movies?”
Ghostface, Scream’s main antagonist, begins his spree with this ominous phrase. What makes this line so iconic is the fact that it’s part foreshadowing, part satire. After all, the killer’s obsession with horror films allows the movie to parody several classic horror film tropes all while being a slasher itself.
The beauty of a good movie lies in the pairing of a quality script with some inspired filmmaking. And this list of movies like Jennifer’s Body is merely a snapshot into the wonderful, weird world of the horror-comedy genre.