Bodies Bodies Bodies is much more than meets the eye with the film’s savagely satirical take on modern-day wealthy elites in an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery.
A group of affluent 20-somethings (Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott, Chase Sui Wonders, Pete Davidson, Myha’la Herrold) plan a party at a countryside mansion to keep them occupied during an incoming hurricane. The isolation and suffocating atmosphere cause cracks within the group, and tensions quickly reach their breaking point. The film, written by Sarah DeLappe from a story by Kristen Roupenian, and directed by Halina Reijn, at a quick glance may appear to be a Gen-Z slasher, but it’s actually a creative, tongue-in-cheek take on what many expect the film to be.
When the power cuts out, and one of the friends is found dead, the group seems much more upset by the lack of phone service than the possibility of being murdered. These are trust fund kids with no responsibilities and they are completely disingenuous around their so-called friends. While Bodies Bodies Bodies is a murder mystery at its core, the film shines as a social commentary. Instead of watching the film rooting for one of the character’s survival, it’s more like a car crash you can’t look away from. While the characters are mostly unlikable, that doesn’t make you want to spend less time with them. The deepest cuts of the Bodies Bodies Bodies don’t come from knives, but from the character’s insults at one another. DeLappe’s screenplay sees the friends verbally attacking each other by drawing from the past and bringing skeletons out of closets. The sharpest dialogue met with perfect delivery from the ensemble cast transformed the film from a neon A24 niche to a cult classic.
The film truly shines because of the perfect cast. Bakalova plays the audience insert character: an international student dragged to the hurricane party by her rich girlfriend Sophie (Stenberg). Sophie is headed to the party for her own reasons, which sets off the host David (Davidson), his girlfriend Emma (Wonders) and their friend Jordan (Herrold). Alice (Sennott) and her new, much older boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace) are confused about their arrival but play it cool. The collection of actors shine individually, but truly have the best chemistry as a group. While you can see the core group as friends with a history, you can also feel the two outsiders desperate to blend in, but always looking in from the other side. Sennott and Herrold truly steal the show with some of the best line delivery in any film all year. Pace is excellent as the himbo at every party and Davidson is pitch perfect in a role destined for him.
Bodies Bodies Bodies has a paranoid tone as it follows the friends through the house guided by the flash from their cell phones with a pulsing score by Disasterpiece in the background. Reijn keeps the audience in the dark as much as the characters as the film keeps most guessing until the very end. The film works because it is not a monster or serial killer chasing the friends throughout the house; the real monster is what someone will do when they think no one is looking. Bodies Bodies Bodies is not a slasher, but a dark comedy about what paranoia, tension and unspoken hatred can do to one.
Should be Considered: Best Original Score
Where to Watch: Showtime
Lives in LA with her husband, daughter and dog. Misses Arclight, loves iced vanilla coffees.
Favorite Director: Darren Aronofsky