Bodies Bodies Bodies is a comedic thriller from A24 taking on the slasher film with a Gen Z twist.
It follows 20-something Bee (Maria Bakalova) who travels with girlfriend Sophie (Amanda Stenberg) to the remote family mansion of David (Pete Davidson) where he is hosting a drug fuelled hurricane party with a handful of his and Sophie‘s lifelong friends, with one of their boyfriends 40-something Greg (Lee Pace).
Clashing egos, tensions and a drug binge have already reached dangerous levels by the time the Bee arrives and as the power inevitably cuts out during the forecast storm, the group play a murder in the dark game called ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’. The game quickly becomes all too real when somebody winds up dead causing the friends to begin turning on each other as the bodies pile up and long-time grievances boil to the surface.
Comedic thrillers can be hit and miss as usually the comedy takes so much importance over the darker elements of the film. While this format may still be entertaining, it’s impossible to take seriously. Bodies Bodies Bodies is one of the few which manages to blend the two genres perfectly, with the humour feeling natural thanks to the writing by Sarah Delappe, and the film’s great cast, so things never stray so far over the line to become 100% parody.
Much like the recent ‘Studio 666‘, this film maintains the look and feel of a legitimate slasher horror film thanks to the impressive work of actress turned director Halina Rejin. With how literally dark this game of ‘murder in the dark’ is portrayed, I found that what ‘A Quiet Place‘ did with near silence Bodies Bodies Bodies achieves with its almost pitch-black sets, illuminated by minimal lighting with torches, phone screens and glow sticks. Throwing in a compelling, extremely violent mystery and Rejin ensures that while we still have amusing moments, the creepy ambience is always present and is displayed naturally, without the need to rely on cheap jump scares.
Not being a fan of much music today, I found myself surprised at how greatly I enjoyed the soundtrack of this film. The use of modern pop and dubstep style throughout the feature fit perfectly with the Gen Z rave lifestyle that this thriller is poking fun at.
As people are dying and the stakes are ramping up, it was hilarious hearing these characters bring up talking points normally typed out online or in their college classrooms. Throwing around sayings like “you’re gaslighting me”, referencing toxicity and other social media speak is satire when in the middle of a violent crime scene and someone is holding a gun on you. Some might find there to be a little bit too much arguing between the characters, but I felt that this enhances the whole experience as the shallow relationships between these vapid privileged people are tested and immediately begin to break down.
The cast of Bodies Bodies Bodies are great with each personality becoming rawer as the story goes on. Despite largely initially being an unlikeable bunch, I grew to appreciate and understand the characters thanks to the perfect casting. Even Pete Davidson, who I am usually not a fan of, was hilarious as the strung out confrontational rich kid.
Perhaps the one exception would be Bakalova as Bee playing an extremely subdued protagonist considering her breakout Oscar nominated role in 2020’s Borat sequel. I’m sure this is a result of how the character was written more than any poor performance on Bakalova’s part. But amongst such outlandish characters, Bee unfortunately comes off a little too bland in comparison.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is truly a satire with its sights aimed at Gen Z. Although full of cliches and grating characters, it delivers an entertaining modern twist on the same formula laid down by Agatha Christie’s ‘Ten Little Indians‘ (or ‘Among Us‘ for the gaming audience) which slasher fans are sure to enjoy going in with an open mind.