They walked down the school hallways in slow motion, perfectly dressed, hair flowing in drafts. No one surpassed them, because overcoming them would mean certain death – or worse, death in social status. Everyone hates them. Everyone wants to be them.
You name it The Heathers, The Plastics: Every Generation Has a Movie dedicated to pretty high school girls. They are more tit-for-tat than in cozy romantic comedies or nostalgic teen movies, and often the girls go on a rampage, be it social vandalism or murder in the sense of black.
This generation has had a good time with teenage conventions, especially when it comes to design choices. These films are united in iconic fashions and specific visual color palettes that conform to the aesthetic conventions prevalent in their respective time periods. They give an edge and grit to elements often associated with little girlhood, be it bold lipstick, a pink mini skirt or a red coat.
But more central than separate visual motifs are the female relationships at the heart of these films. The most catastrophic and most unfortunate relationship these girls have is with each other, and these relationships are simultaneously the grace of their salvation and their ultimate downfall. And that thread combines elements of superiority with a well-founded relationship – son-eating demon-possessed best friends aren’t exactly common, but toxic best friends, who knocked others down to climb over them to be.
With pastel costumes and a good main duo, Netflix’s Revenge is a worthy entry into this category. In honor of black comedies that aren’t afraid to show the dark side of high school popularity, we’ve picked out some quintessentially quintessential teen classics.
The movie that started it all was really a box office bomb. But despite not even making half the budget back, Heaters become a cult classic. Screenwriter Daniel Waters intended the film to satirize how the media sensationalizes teen suicides, and to serve as a darker contrast than usual depictions of high school life in the early years. 1980. (Hello, John Hughes.) And although that may be controversial – Representative of Winona Ryder begged her not to take the role – it excites audiences back home.
Heathers follows Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder), the fourth member of a group of ruthless mean girls known as the Heathers (since the other three are all named Heather). She’s a reluctant follower, because she knows to side with the Heathers and help them get through the lobby and note a better reason than being their target. But she finds herself attracted to rebellious new student JD (Christian Slater), and after the leader of the Heathers rejects Veronica, she and JD come up with a plan. What was supposed to be a harmless prank turns into a murder, and soon Veronica finds herself covering up a string of bodies and disguising them as suicides. JD’s plan grows more sinister, the other two Heather deal with the power vacuum, and Veronica tries to fix everything that went wrong.
While Heaters completely laid the groundwork for this kind of movie, it’s also notable for being the only example on our list where a male character played a major role in the demise of the clique. However, the focus turns back to Veronica, who escaped the clique of fame and then escaped the ill effects of JD, and finally extended a hand to her old friend Martha and sympathetic Heather. than.
Heaters available to stream on Tubi and Main video.
The Craft (1996)
Technically, Handmade is a supernatural thriller, not a dark comedy, and it’s not technically about popular girls, it’s about mean girls (don’t worry – we’ll get to that. Bad girls a moment). But it deserves to be included on this list because of how the “the fuck is a teenage girl” bit comes into play and because of how much focus on your group’s inner motivations is covered. Other than that, it’s not particularly scary.
Handmade Follows a group of teenage witches who unlock powerful magic to take revenge on those who have wronged them and get what they want in life. That magic ended up causing their group of friends to fracture, crumble, and eat themselves. Like many of the other examples on this list, it’s a group of four girls – three girls who already know each other and a new rogue that disrupts the established dynamic.
For iconic and specific visual color palettes? It’s a Catholic school uniform, mixed with some commercial Goth elements. Are from Heaters Starting the genre by offering a countercultural alternative to popular 1980s teen movies, it would be nice if there was an entry that actually embraced the counterculture aesthetic.
Handmade available for live streaming Paramount Plus.
Jawbreaker is what will happen in Heaters if the other Heathers accidentally kill their Queen Bee and try to cover it up. After a horribly wrong joke, the popular Reagan High girls attempt to conceal their involvement in Liz Purr’s death. Rose McGowan plays mean girl Courtney Shayne, an evil girl who bribes Prince Fern (Judy Greer) to keep her mouth shut about the manslaughter by giving her a makeover – even changing her name to Vylette – and put her in the famous group. Meanwhile, Julie (Rebecca Gayheart), the most sympathetic of the group, has no sympathy for them.
With bright Y2K color, JawbreakerHer visual color palette is bold and over-the-top, complementing the strange actions Courtney takes to maintain her status as the most popular girl in school (and blaming Liz for someone else’s death). Meanwhile, Julie comes up with a plan to expose Courtney’s involvement to the whole school on prom night. (Big school dances are another recurring theme in these films – the queen must have her official plastic crown, after all.)
Jawbreaker available to rent on Main video and YouTube.
Mean Girls (2004)
No one died In Bad girls – but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Teenage girl Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) finds herself entangled in the most popular group in school – The Plastics, ruled by Regina George (Rachel McAdams). Cady’s new friend Janis (Lizzy Caplan) sees this as an opportunity to take down Regina once and for all, and they devise a plan for Cady to infiltrate the group and destroy Regina. But the more time she spends with Regina, the more Cady begins to turn into her own dependable mean girl.
Even without the body count, Bad girls’ Complex revenge plots, focus on social status and hateful insults (and Regina being hit by a bus), fit this list. And the filmmakers certainly acknowledge the great things that came before, with nods like the ’80s plaid dress Regina objected to (a style prevalent in those days). Heaters era) to the scene where she places photocopied pages of the Recording Book around the school’s empty hallway (a similar scene takes place in Jawbreaker).
Bad girls available to stream on Netflix.
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Many of these films flirt with sapphic undertones, be it Fern’s obsession with Liz Purr or Cady’s fixation on Regina George. But Jennifer’s body embracing the inherent homophobia is falling in love with the most popular and beautiful girl in school – or in this case, having the hottest girl in love with you too.
The studious Needy (Amanda Seyfried) and the famous Jennifer (Megan Fox) may not have much in common on the surface, but they are best friends. One night, after sneaking into a local dive bar, a popular indie band kidnaps Jennifer and uses her as a sacrifice for an evil ritual – but it doesn’t quite work, and Jennifer woke up with a craving for the body.
As Jennifer goes around killing and eating boys, her power grows – and the already toxic friendship between her and Needy begins to fall apart. There is no central faction in Jennifer’s body, But the focus on Needy and Jennifer’s intense friendship was enough to keep it going. Needy is the only person Jennifer is against her will to kill, but also the person she most wants to destroy her life with.
Jennifer’s body available for live streaming Main video.