15 horror movies Jennifer’s Body fans will love
October is for horror movies, and horror movies lend themselves to cult classic status. Big-budget effects that are hokey might come to be viewed as endearing, a small release that thrills might find new life on streaming and critical reevaluation can shine light on the gems that were missed. One of the biggest cult classics of the 21st century is 2009’s Jennifer’s Body, the unapologetically campy and queer horror film starring Megan Fox as a high school student turned demon who murders boys to gain power. Directed by the brilliant Karyn Kusama and written by Diablo Cody (coming off writing Juno in 2007), the movie has become a horror staple during the month of October.
For those who love Jennifer’s Body, we’ve gathered 15 other horror movies we think you might love, from films that share the same tone and camp, other high school horror romps and some scarier ventures for the brave of heart.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Horror comedy is a tough act to balance, but in cases like Jennifer’s Body (and several other movies on this list), when it lands properly, it’s golden. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is another example of how horror comedy can enhance both sides of the equation. Starring Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk as the titular hillbillies, the film is a humorous deconstruction of rural horror like The Hills Have Eyes and Wrong Turn. Here the reclusive duo has a lot of care in their hearts, and the film mixes a healthy dose of laughs playing with horror tropes while giving viewers loveable characters to root for.
Another Kusama-directed film, The Invitation is beautifully shot. Set almost entirely in one home during a deeply unsettling and disturbing dinner party, the camera frames the emotional turmoil unfolding with unflinching devotion. Kusama knows how to get actors to play off each other, and each performance here shines, including a world-class appearance from character actor John Carroll Lynch. It’s much grimmer than Jennifer’s Body, but The Invitation showcases the same commitment from Kusama to exploring the dark depths of relationships.
There’s a lot to love about Freaky. The writing is smart, the kills are inventive and thrilling and Bear McCreary’s music is hypnotic. But the main draw of this movie is getting to watch Vince Vaughn act like a teenage girl and Kathryn Newton act like a deranged serial killer after their characters swap bodies. Both actors are more than game to lean into the camp, with Vaughn especially able to show off his ample comedic chops for large stretches.
Between the much-maligned Scream 3 and this year’s solid Scream lives Scream 4, yet the 2011 revival doesn’t get the love it should. While still honoring the roots and characters from the original trilogy, Scream 4 brings a new generation’s lens to the meta-commentary of the franchise, with a setting much more in line with the late 2000s/early 2010s aesthetic of Jennifer’s Body. Scream has always served as a love letter to horror, and Scream 4 deserves more love for carrying that torch.
Almost every teen horror film since the mid-90s, including Jennifer’s Body, owes something to 1996’s The Craft. The cult classic, starring the iconic Fairuza Balk and Neve Campbell just before she became a star, mixes witchcraft, social dynamics and feminism in its tale about the forging and breaking of friendship among its four main characters. While it is campy in bursts, The Craft thoughtfully examines female friendship and finding identity while growing up.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
If campy horror is what you're searching for, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a must-watch. The pinnacle of camp horror, the 1975 film is iconic for a reason. From the fashion to the music to the aesthetic, everything about Rocky Horror is a celebration of all things camp and horror. Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter is still a revolutionary role, and the film’s influence on queer cinema across the decades cannot be overstated.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
While considerably darker than Jennifer’s Body, the 2015 horror film The Blackcoat’s Daughter shares many of the same elements. Superficially, both revolve around teenage girls and possession by malevolent forces. On a deeper level, The Blackcoat’s Daughter also shares the desire to examine the stresses, isolation and false sense of competition placed on young women. With breathtaking performances from horror veterans Kiernan Shipka and Emma Roberts, The Blackcoat’s Daughter will sit with viewers long after it’s over.
Happy Death Day
What if Bill Murray was murdered every day during Groundhog Day? That’s the basic premise of 2017’s Happy Death Day, with main character Tree (played with considerable comedic timing by Jessica Rothe) reliving a single day on her college campus until she’s brutally dispatched by a masked killer. The mystery elements of Tree attempting to unmask her assailant are compelling, and the film’s setting allows for plenty of jokes about college life both in real life and its depiction in movies.
Based on Stephen King’s first published novel, Carrie covers a lot of ground. It tells the story of the titular main character, a shy high school student severely hindered by her mother’s religious fundamentalism and the resulting harassment by her peers and various authority figures in her life while she begins to develop psychic powers. King — and this movie adaptation — capture how cruel high school can be, and it’s haunting to watch for anyone who suffered at the hands of bullies growing up (The 2013 film remake is fine but pales in comparison to the original).
While the Halloween franchise has often focused on school-age protagonists in its place atop the slasher genre, it has almost never focused on school as a setting. That’s what makes Michael Myers hacking his way through a boarding school in 1998’s Halloween H20 so much fun. Besides being one of the better sequels in the franchise, it’s novel to see a film series that practically invented the modern slasher finally step foot into the high school antics it inspired.
The Love Witch
A severely underrated gem, The Love Witch is a delight to experience. Visually, it features a dazzling color palette and an aesthetic that harkens back to Old Hollywood. The story of Elaine, a witch desperately looking for love with the help of her powers, contains a multitude of both laughs and touching moments. Like Jennifer’s Body, The Love Witch also includes smart critiques of the ways women are viewed and valued by society, making it a thought-provoking watch.
One of the best horror films of the last decade, It Follows is truly a must-watch for any horror fan. Set around Detroit during a nebulous time frame, the movie revolves around a group of teenagers attempting to escape a monster that relentlessly pursues its victim, with the monster’s ire able to be transferred via sex with another person. Besides being a taut and grippingly filmed adventure, the movie’s focus on how young adults view and experience sex showcases fantastic writing.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Like any horror franchise, the sequels to A Nightmare on Elm Street vary wildly in quality. The third film, Dream Warriors, is the best of the bunch. Set in a home for troubled youth, the film follows a group of teenagers attempting to harness their dream powers to stop Freddy Krueger once and for all (given the sequels, you can imagine how that goes). Krueger is at his best here, and the story is a surprisingly tender story of a group of outcasts finding their strength and their confidence (much like Needy’s journey in Jennifer’s Body).
Ready or Not
If over the top is what you want more of, Ready or Not is the choice. Grace, played by Samara Weaving, is a bride-to-be preparing to marry into a wealthy, storied family. Of course, that family is not hiding secrets, and things start to get pretty bloody. From the writing to the bloodshed to the humor, everything in Ready or Not is designed to go bigger and better than the moment before it. The film is a thrill ride all the way up to its amazing, ridiculous ending.
Fright Night (2011)
Jennifer’s Body is undoubtedly cool, and the 2011 remake of horror classic Fright Night is just as chic. Set in the suburbs of Las Vegas, the film is anchored by incredible performances from the late Anton Yelchin as teenager Charley and Colin Farrell as Jerry, the vampire attempting to murder everyone in Charley’s life. With Vegas lights, desert expanses and the most sensual parts of vampire lore, Fright Night absolutely oozes style and excitement (and blood).