Bodies Bodies Bodies
bodies bodies bodies | halina reijn | sarah delappe | amandla stenberg | maria bakalova | rachel sennott | comedy | thriller | slasher | united states | chase sui wonders | pete davidson | myha'la herrold | lee pace | conner o'malley
Film: Bodies Bodies Bodies
Director: Halina Reijn
Writer: Sarah DeLappe
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova and Rachel Sennott
This is movie that intrigued me when I saw it was coming out. This is another slasher film from A24 for 2022. It featured Pete Davidson, who is quite important with mainstream social media and I liked him in the movie The King of Staten Island. Regardless of that, I wanted to see this movie. Jaime did as well so we went to the Gateway Film Center to view this.
Synopsis: when a group of rich 20-somethings plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game turns deadly in this fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends and one party gone very, very wrong.
We start this by getting to meet two of our leads. Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) and Bee (Maria Bakalova) are out in the woods. They are dating with the former telling the other that she loves her. Bee doesn’t say it back. You can tell that Sophie is bummed, but they power through.
From here, we see them heading out to the mansion from the synopsis. It belongs to David (Davidson). He and Sophie have been friends since pre-school. There are others of their group there with him. The plan is to party while the area gets hit with a hurricane. Bee is nervous to meet them as this is the first time. She also is texting someone on her phone that is blowing her up. Sophie even makes a comment about it.
They arrive and Sophie heads in. Bee hangs back as she said she forgot something in the car. She checks herself out in the passenger sun-visor mirror before heading in as well. The group that is there is made up of Alice (Rachel Sennott). She has a podcast, tries to be ultra-politically correct and is dating an older man in Greg (Lee Pace). We see that he butts heads with David. David’s girlfriend is Emma (Chase Sui Wonders). The only other character there is Jordan (Myha’la Herrold).
The storm then arrives, driving this group inside. Sophie wants to play a game. It is also the title of this, Bodies Bodies Bodies. Everyone pulls a piece of paper. One slip has an X on it. That person is the killer. The lights are then turned off. The killer sneaks around, touching people to ‘kill’ them. They do this until someone discovers a body and then they yell the title of the game or the killer gets them all. The lights then come back on and they decide who did it. This causes an argument between them. We see there is years of pent-up issues that come to a head. It takes a darker turn when one of them is killed. The group then turns on each other as they try to figure out who did it before everyone is killed.
That is where I’ll leave my recap and introduction to the characters. Where I want to start is that while watching this, I realized that this is a modern take on Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’. It is a classic set up that we’ve seen a lot throughout the years. What makes this one different are the characters. It reminded me a lot of Five Dolls for an August Moon where we have a group that any one of them could be the killer. They are all despicable. There isn’t really a character here that I side with, except maybe Bee and Greg. They’re the only two to not come from money. That doesn’t exclude them as red herrings though.
Where I’ll go then would be to breakdown these characters a bit more in depth. The group of friends are all rich. They don’t know real struggles if you want me to be honest. Each have their quirks that annoys the others. Examples are that Sophie had a drug problem. Her friends did what they had to for her to go to rehab. She’s fallen off the face of the Earth in their eyes since. She has her reasons though. They’re enablers and don’t care about her sobriety enough to not do things around her. Alice is wishy-washy and falls into that group of PC people online that side with whatever crusade without having any sort of individuality. She wants everyone to like her. Emma and David aren’t good together but stay a couple. Neither wants to be alone despite their relationship being toxic. There is then Jordan. She is aggressive and needs to put people in their place. She has issues when challenged.
Now that I’ve fleshed out, I like that this game reveals their characters. I told Jaime on our drive home that everything called out when they’re trying to find the killer gets amplified as real killings happen. This group doesn’t have a true sense of consequences so they make things worse in solving what happened. I’m glad that we see the truth behind the catalyst of the events. It makes the impact that much more powerful.
I do need to go over to a negative though. This is a slasher movie. It doesn’t have that classic set up where we get a kill right in the first five minutes to set the stage. We don’t get the first one until around the 30-minute mark. It takes off from there. This set up isn’t normally a problem for me. The reason that it is that I hate most every character here. They don’t show redeeming qualities for some of them until things go crazy. It is then that I settled into what this movie was doing and enjoyed myself. The only bright spot is that I’m fan of Davidson. His comedy kept me in movie until things got wild. From there, I’m in trying to figure out the mystery.
I’ll go over to the acting now since I’ve leaned into the characters. Even though I do not like most of these characters, I’m not going to blame the acting. They’re supposed to be this way. I give them credit for getting that reaction out of me if anything. No one stood out per say. They just feel like a group of friends that know each other. As a group they seem like they like each other but we also see there is a lot of resentment. It takes this event where they’re stuck together for it to come out. I will give credit to Bakalova and Pace. They’re the two outsiders trying to fit in with these psychopaths. The performances were all good.
Then the last things I’ll go into are the filmmaking. This has a stylish look to it. The cinematography was great. I like setting as this mansion is big enough to give it a modern gothic feel that I appreciate. Moving from there, I would say that the effects we get are good. They do well in hiding most of them. What I saw was practical. If there was CGI, they hid it well. Mostly what we see are the aftereffects and the blood. Both looked good to me. The only other thing would be the soundtrack. It isn’t music that I would listen to, but it fit this group. I thought that it worked for what the movie needed.
In conclusion, this was a solid, modern look at murder mysteries of the past. We have a group of characters that I hate, stuck in a house with a storm raging outside and deaths happen. It had me guessing until the end as to who the killer was. The reveal there I thought worked. Despite me not liking the characters, I think the acting is on point. They bring their roles to life. This looks good. The effects were well done and the soundtrack fit for what the movie needed. The only drawback that stands out to me is the fact that I found it a bit slow until the killer picks people off. I think the characters will annoy some people to the point that they will hate this. For me, I think we aren’t supposed to like them and could believe they would do what they do due to their upbringing.
My Rating: 7 out of 10