“…the sadomasochist teen horror films kill off the sexually active ‘bad’ girls, allowing only the nonsexual ‘good’ girls to survive. But these good girls become, as if in compensation, remarkably active, to the point of appropriating phallic power to themselves. It is as if this phallic power is granted so long as it is rigorously separated from the phallic or any other sort of pleasure. For these pleasures spell sure death in this genre” (Williams 610).
Jennifer’s Body (2009) serves to both prove and challenge William’s brief hypothesis on “sadomasochist teen horror films.” Jennifer, the evil antagonist, portrays excessive sexuality and is ultimately defeated. The initially unsexualized protagonist, on the other hand, is the girl who defeats her. Although her nonsexual image certainly situates the character in a ‘good’ girl category, this film does not imply her complete abstinence from sexual engagement. Perhaps it is evidence of changing times, but William’s understanding does not fully account for this ambiguity. Still, as a reward for being a ‘good’ girl in a monogamous relationship and not using her feminine wiles to seduce hordes of men, the protagonist wields an almost phallic power at the end of the movie as she impales Jennifer and finally defeats her.