The New Femme Fatale in 'Jennifer’s Body'
Cover of this special issue, showing a picture of the Parthenon with three statues and a view over the city


Jennifer’s Body
evolution of the femme fatale
women in horror
queer femme fatale
femme fatale as a feminist figure


This paper offers an analysis of Jennifer Check from Diablo Cody’s film Jennifer’s Body (2009). It argues that the character of Jennifer advances the concept of the femme fatale by exploring the ways in which she both adheres to and challenges the trope, ranging from her outward appearance, her duplicity and her relationships with other female characters. This is contextualised through an overview of the longer history of the femme fatale, touching on biblical figures such as Eve (Adam’s wife), Lilith (the first wife of Adam who turned into a demon-mother) and Salome (daughter of Herod II who asked for the head of John the Baptist), and later characters such as Catherine Tramell from Basic Instinct (1992) to analyse the evolution of the trope in relation to different cultural moments. Additionally, the discussion emphasises the importance of the female re-appropriation of the figure, and differentiates it from the femme castrice. Finally, the paper establishes the new femme fatale, led by Jennifer Check, as a by-product of objectification and abuse that turns her into both victim and monster with a vendetta against those that made her.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Alba Alonso Palombi


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