A while back, I wrote about the found footage flick To Jennifer and its sequel 2 Jennifer here. To Jennifer is about a guy who takes his friends on a road trip when he concludes that his long distance girlfriend Jennifer is cheating on him. The sequel is about a guy who has been asked by the director of the first film to make a sequel, and insists on finding the perfect “Jennifer” to play the part.
While the first film is about as heterocentric as it gets, 2 Jennifer is way more intriguing because it delves deep into sexual and gender identity. It’s also an incredibly dark and heavy-handed film. So it’s interesting to see the direction the third film in the series takes.
#FromJennifer is more of an oddball, campy black comedy horror. It’s also a standalone film that doesn’t connect back to the other films in any way, not even taking a meta approach as the first sequel did.
Well, there is another Jennifer—the leading lady. She’s a struggling actress who gets fired by a director, is dumped by her boyfriend, and gets canned by her agent, played by Tony Todd (she gets canned by Candyman).
Then she finds out her boyfriend posted their sex video online. Devastated, she decides to get revenge—against all men.
Throughout the course of the film, we have no idea what Jennifer’s evil plan is. We just watch the process unfold. First, she interviews for an assistant, which is when it becomes very clear that this installment has no intention of taking itself seriously. Passing on various rejects, she settles on a guy named Butch, played by Derek Mears, whose numerous horror films include roles as both man and monster. Personally, I think this is Derek’s best, meatiest role yet—he’s a gay dude who has a social disorder and just got dumped by his boyfriend!
As Jennifer’s plan is set in motion, we begin to realize that crazy people always seem to find each other…and that something really bad is destined to happen to the men Jennifer and Butch begin to attract.
They also make a detour so Butch can find some closure with his ex.
Things take a surprisingly gayer turn that is as funny as it is so wrong.
The humorous angle waters down any shock value when the blood begins to flow, but it’s still ridiculously subversive in an old school way.
And Derek Mears portrays one of the most oddly charming and innocent gay psychos I’ve ever seen in a horror flick.
Considering how extreme the finale of the second film was, #FromJennifer is a bit disappointingly restrained in terms of horror payoff. However, I’m loving that the series is continuing to delve unapologetically into edgy gay territory at a time when conservative extremism and liberal oversensitivity are both determined to snuff out the joys exploitative insanity brings to the totally sane.