High school month continues, which I promise will feature at least one cheesy throwback teen rom-com. Prepare yourself, Christa. For now, teen horror comedies abound!
Where to Watch:
Figure it out
A high school teen’s best friend experiences a transformation into a bloodthirsty demon, causing a rift to develop between the two.
The Uncondensed Version:
Memorably, Amanda Seyfried tells us “Hell is a teenage girl.” No argument here—except perhaps hell is being a teenage girl.
In the present, Amanda aka Needy has been institutionalized for reasons as yet unknown. All we know is she has amassed a fan following that sends her letters, and she frequently has to be placed in solitary confinement for her violent outbursts.
Before all of this, though, Needy was just an ordinary nerd whose BFF was gorgeous cheerleader Jennifer. They have a somewhat uneven friendship, as Needy has to constantly overanalyze what she’ll wear so she looks cool but not better than Jennifer. Needy’s boyfriend Chip notices the weird connection between the 2 girls and the way Needy follows everything she says.
Jennifer and Needy go to pretty much a dive to see a band led by Goth Adam Brody (say what). Though Jennifer jokes about becoming a groupie, at some point she seems to become literally hypnotized by the band. Also a fire breaks out, which the girls manage to escape, but others are not so lucky. The band appears to do nothing to help and, in fact, seems pretty set on getting Jen into their van. Obv Needy has a very bad feeling about this, but she can’t dissuade Jen from getting into the van.
Is this the last of Jen? Of course not. Just when Needy thinks she must be gone for good, Jen shows up at her house, looking all scary and blood-soaked. She eats a chicken, vomits blood and needles, and leaves.
The next day at school, Jen returns and is completely normal by all appearances. However, it becomes clear pretty early on that she hungers for flesh. Specifically, she’s pretty intent on murdering and disemboweling high school boys.
Needy becomes increasingly disturbed until Jen finally crosses the line by murdering Needy’s Goth friend Colin. Jen does explain that on the night of the fire the band members sacrificed her to Satan in an effort to make it big as an indie band, instilling in her a thirst for blood.
After doing some trusty library research, Needy discovers how to destroy demons and warns him the dance will be a feast for the band and Jen. Chip, of course, doesn’t believe her and only cares that he’s already bought the corsage and everything.
You know for certain some Carrie-level shit is going down at prom.
Better than expected in the beginning with slightly more depth than the average teen horror comedy. I thought this could either be the greatest or a complete disaster, with no room in between. I wouldn’t call this a great film, but it was entertaining and surprisingly feminist(ish).
There is quite a bit of exploration concerning friendship between high school girls and the darkness that can creep into those relationships. It doesn’t work as well as Ginger Snaps, though, and frequently feels like a watered-down version of that film albeit with demons instead of werewolves.
Being a teen movie, stereotypes abound regarding each of the cliques. Stereotypes aside, this is one of the more realistic approaches to high school dynamics I can think of—Needy has friends in many different cliques rather than being friends only with nerds.
Though the relationship between Needy and Jen is well-defined, the other characters fall flat. Chris Pratt makes a brief appearance, and JK Simmons with hair is in this (which is weird). Chip gets quite a lot of screen time, which is unfortunate as he’s a pretty forgettable character and I gave zero fucks about him. Plus I feel Chip is an acceptable name only for a chipmunk. Or, like, a Chippendales dancer.
Not destined to be a classic, but not a terrible way to spend an hour and a half either.
3/5 Pink Panther Heads