5 high school retaliation movies that depict hell is a teenage girl

5 high school retaliation movies that depict hell is a teenage girl ...

They walk down the school hallway in sluggish motion, perfect outfits, hair that flows in the draft. No one crosses them, because crossing them would result in certain death or worse, the loss of social status. Everyone hates them. Everyone wants to be them.

Each generation has a film dedicated to the beautiful mean girls of high school. They have more bite than in cozy comedies or nostalgia-fueled coming-of-age stories, and often, the girls are out for blood, whether it be social sabotage or literal murder.

This subgenre has a great time with the rules of teenage girlhood, especially when it comes to fashion choices. These films are united in iconic fashion and specific visual palettes that play with popular aesthetic conventions of their respective time periods. They add an edge and a toughness to elements often associated with diminutive girlhood, such as bold lipstick, pink mini skirts, or red scrunchies.

The most devastating and disarming relationships these girls have with each other are their saving grace and their greatest failure, and that thread connects the more over-the-top elements with grounded relatability demon-posed best friends arent exactly common, but toxic best friends who put others down to climb over them are.

Netflix's Do Revenge, with its pastel-swathed costumes and a concerned lead duo, is a fine entry into the genre. In honor of these black comedy genres that arent afraid to expose the darker side of high school popularity, weve compiled some timeless classics from the canon of brutal teenage girls.

Heathers (1988)

Heathers became a cult classic despite not even paying half its budget. (Hello, John Hughes.) And while that may have been controversial, Winona Ryders' agent pleaded not to play the role she sparked at home.

Heathers follows Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder), the fourth member of the Heathers' ruthless mean-girl clique (since the others are all named Heather). After the Heathers' leader turns on Veronica, she and J.D. devise a strategy. Soon, Veronica discovers herself concealing a string of bodies and disguised them as suicides.

Heathers is also notable for being the only film on our list that has a male character play a significant role in the clique's failure. Veronica is back, clawing her way out of J.D.s harmful influences, and then extends a hand to Martha and the more sympathetic Heather.

Heathers is now available for streaming on Tubi and Prime Video.

The Craft (1996)

The Craft is a supernatural horror film, not a dark comedy, and technically, it isnt about popular girls, as much as it is about mean girls (dont worry, well get to Mean Girls in a bit). However, its worth mentioning because of the way the notion of a teenage girl comes into play, as well as because of the amount of focus on the inner dynamics of the friend group in question.

The Craft follows a group of teenage witches who use powerful magic to retaliate against those who have wronged them and obtain what they want out of life. That magic eventually causes the group of friends to split and split and devour itself alive, like many of the other examples on this list. A new interloper disrupts already established dynamics.

What is the significance of the iconic and distinctive visual palette? It's Catholic school uniforms, mixed with some trad Goth elements. It's nice to have an entry that accepted counterculture aesthetics since Heathers first introduced a counterculture approach to popular 1980s teen films.

On Paramount Plus, the Craft is available to stream.

Jawbreaker (1999)

If the other Heathers accidentally killed their Queen Bee, they'll try to conceal their involvement in Liz Purrs' death. Rose McGowan plays a ruthless mean girl who bribes dorky Fern (Judy Greer) into giving her a drastic makeover, even inducting her into the popular group. Meanwhile, Julie (Rebecca Gayheart), the most sympathetic of the group, falls out of favor with them.

The visual palette in Jawbreakers is bold and over-the-top, complementing Courtney's outrageous attempts to maintain her status as the most popular girl in the school (and blame Liz's death on someone else). While at the same time, Julie devises a strategy to expose Courtney's involvement to the whole school on prom night. (Big school dances are another recurring theme in these films a queen gotta have her official plastic crown.)

Jawbreaker is available for rent on Prime Video and YouTube.

Mean Girls (2004)

Mean Girls is a sport that no one plays, but it does make it any less brutal. Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) finds herself entangled with the most popular clique in school, The Plastics, led by Regina George (Rachel McAdams), and they devise a plot for Cady to infiltrate the group and destroy Regina. But the more time Cady spends with Regina, the more she becomes a certifiable mean girl of her own.

Mean Girls' elaborate revenge plot, wistfulness about personal status, and brutal verbal insults (and also the fact Regina is hit by a bus) complete the list. With nods to the plaid 80s skirt that Regina wears (a style popular during the Heathers era) or to the scene where she plants photocopied pages of the Burn Book around empty hallways at school (a similar scene plays out in Jawbreaker).

Mean Girls is now available for Netflix subscribers.

Jennifers Body (2009)

Be it Fern's obsession with Liz Purr or Cadys obsession with Regina George, Jennifers Body embraces the inherent homoeroticism of being infatuated with the most popular and beautiful girl in school, or in this case, having the hottest girl become infatuated with you.

Needy (Amanda Seyfried) and popular Jennifer (Megan Fox) may not have much in common on the surface, but they're the best of friends. One night, a skeevy indie band kidnaps Jennifer and uses her as a sacrifice for a demonic ritual, but it doesnt quite work, and Jennifer wakes up with a hunger for flesh.

Jennifer's already toxic friendship with Needy begins to unravel, and her already toxic friendship with her slowly dissolves. Needy is the only person for whom Jennifer refuses to kill, but also the person whose life she most desire to destroy.

Jennifers Body is now available for streaming on Prime Video.

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