Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar for writing the screenplay for Juno (2007), followed up that hit film by writing the screenplay for the horror movie Jennifer’s Body, which starred Megan Fox in the title role and Amanda Seyfried as Jennifer’s best friend, Needy. This movie was not a hit at the time (the marketing was so bad and missed the point of the film!), but since then, it has gained fans as an under-appreciated cult classic and “forgotten feminist classic” (Grady). My husband and I recently watched this movie for the first time via Amazon Prime.
If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, here’s a trailer.
School library scene
I was very surprised when a school library and research scene popped up in the film! Disturbed by how her friend is behaving, Needy visits the school library at 1 hour and 10 minutes into the movie.
“So I did some research. Paranormal research.”
Needy looks up occult books and paranormal research, including how to kill a demon. Here are the glimpses of the book shelves and titles featured in this short library scene:
In the next scene, Needy shares what she found out with her boyfriend, Chip, and she tries to explain her theory about Jennifer:
Needy: Jennifer’s evil. I’ve been through the occult section at the library five times.
Chip: Our library has an occult section?
Needy: Yes, it’s really small. You have to read this.
Needy then pulls out a binder from her backpack, full of stuff she has printed out about demonic transference.
In the end, Chip doesn’t believe her. Which he comes to regret later.
But I do feel Chip and his incredulity about their school library having an occult section! And there looked to be a couple of rows of books in that section, which doesn’t feel that small to me… I guess it’s all about perspective, eh?
Was there a reel librarian?
The first time we watched this scene, I did NOT notice a school librarian. So I was going to chalk this up as a Class V movie, films with library scenes without librarians. However, when I went back to rewatch the scene and take screenshots, lo and behold… there IS a flash of a reel librarian! A blink-and-you-will-miss-it cameo. Literally. Because I literally blinked and missed that school librarian the first time round.
But here is the reel librarian, in her nanoseconds of glory. She looks to be a White woman, with reddish-brown, shoulder-length hair, and she is wearing eyeglasses and is dressed in a suit jacket. She appears to be shelving books, as you can just glimpse the top of a rolling cart beside her.
Alas, this reel librarian goes uncredited in the movie’s cast list. 😦
This school librarian helps establish the setting of the school library, so she fulfills the role of Information Provider. Ultimately, the movie lands in the Class IV category of movies with cameo appearances from reel librarians.
Have you seen Jennifer’s Body lately? Did you remember the paranormal research scene? Please leave a comment and share!
- Grady, Constance. “How Jennifer’s Body went from a flop in 2009 to a feminist cult classic today.” Vox, 31 October 2018.
- Jennifer’s Body. Dir. Karyn Kusama. Perf. Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody. 20th Century Fox, 2009.
3 thoughts on “Paranormal research in ‘Jennifer’s Body’ (2009)”
“But I do feel Chip and his incredulity about their school library having an occult section!”
I will never forget the secret teenage metalhead delight when I discovered that my conservative small-town high school library included a copy of The Satanic Verses — and my disappointment when I learned it was NOT a book of spells.
Of course, I later found a much better, more mature delight and a kind of pride that my school had a copy of Salman Rushdie’s infamous novel — a delight that intensified when I met the man at a literary event several years ago. (He is wonderfully thoughtful and generous with his time, by the way.)
At previous public and community college libraries I’ve worked at, I always found that I regularly needed to restock our occult sections (as well as sections for myths and true crime).