Chicks dig scary movies -- A surprising look at why women buy more tickets to slasher pics than men — and how that's changing what we see on screen
The trailer for Jennifer's Body has everything a teenage boy could reasonably expect, as well as some things he probably wouldn't dare to dream of. Megan Fox playing a cheerleader, for instance. Megan Fox having a sleep-over with Amanda Seyfried. Megan Fox swimming nude, lighting her tongue on fire for kicks, and — talk about a transformer — turning into a snarling beast with fangs. But the strangest twist to the movie may be that it's a supernatural bloodbath made bywomen (Girlfight director Karyn Kusama and Juno scribe/EW columnist Diablo Cody) and, in large part, for women. ''My primary reasons for writing Jennifer's Body were that I knew about the female horror audience and am a fan myself,'' Cody says of the movie, which slashes into theaters Sept. 18. ''Growing up, I was absolutely mesmerized by the horror section at the local video store. It wasn't a particularly feminine compulsion, and my parents didn't want me watching that crap.''
Cody's parents — and the parents of young women everywhere — have lost the battle big-time. For decades, it seemed the sole purpose of movies in which masked and/or disfigured men hunted down lusty young damsels was to give guys a 90-minute outlet for their own aggression and hormones. Today, however, the genre's biggest constituency of die-hard fans is women. Name any recent horror hit and odds are that female moviegoers bought more tickets than men. And we're not just talking about psychological spookfests like 2002's The Ring (60 percent female), 2004's The Grudge (65 percent female), and 2005's The Exorcism of Emily Rose (51 percent female). We're also talking about all the slice-and-dice remakes and sequels that Hollywood churns out.
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