Bodies Bodies Bodies

Director: Halina Reijn

Writer: Sarah DeLappe

Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson

Rating: ★★★½

Bodies Bodies Bodies is the English directorial debut from Dutch director Halina Reijn, with a script from Sarah DeLappe and a story from Kristen Roupenian. It’s a comedy/horror that satirises Gen Z, while at the same time reworking the slasher story with a new twist on the classic genre.

A group of twenty-something friends gather at David’s (Pete Davidson) family mansion in the middle of nowhere to have a drug-fuelled party in the middle of a hurricane. As the party gets started, they also decide to play a game of Bodies Bodies Bodies, where the lights will be turned out and one of them will ‘murder’ the others. Except, the game is taken too far after one of them turns up dead and the friends start to turn on each other.

The opening of this film is really slow, basically just showing the obnoxious group of friends partying, getting high and drunk, while also slowly welcoming the newcomers to the group. Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) has brought her girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova) to the party, who no one else in the group knows. They weren’t even sure Sophie was coming herself, especially since she’d almost disappeared completely after entering rehab. Bee is the obvious suspect when the bodies start to show, and it doesn’t take long for the rest of the characters, including Sophie, to turn against her.

After the slow opening, that isn’t quite as funny as it should be, the film does pick up massively. It’s brutally tense, with the characters being lit up mainly by their phone’s torches, because what would Gen Z be without their devices. You’re never sure who the killer is, as the first few deaths happen off screen, without any hint of the actual killer, and the twist reveal at the end works nicely. It could be any of them, old friends, newcomers or even Max (Conner O’Malley), who left the party the day before after a confrontation with David, and no one has seen him since.

The performances are all really great and feel authentic, adding to the tension of the situation, that runs really high throughout the film. They’re all believable as the killer. At the beginning of the film, the characters are all a little grating, but it settles down once the horror begins. Then there is a long moment where they start accusing each other, throwing around buzzwords you’d see online, like ‘triggered’, ‘gaslighting’, and the dialogue just comes across as a little clumsy, and not natural at all. It’s supposed to be satire, and the point is made, but not very well.

While this is billed as a comedy, for the most part there’s not a lot of laughs to be found. Mostly the opening, before the killing starts, and then a few towards the end. The actual trailer is funnier than the film, mainly down to how it’s edited. If you’re going into this thinking it’s going to be funny, then it’s going to disappoint. The tension and twists are the strongest points of the film.

Overall, this film isn’t a classic, but it’s a solid slasher and has some good moments. The satire falls flat, but it has some tense moments that make up for it.

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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