Bodies Bodies Bodies
Bodies Bodies Bodies follows young couple Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) and Bee (Maria Bakalova), who attend a hurricane party at a remote mansion. The two are welcomed, but Sophie’s history with this particular friendship group – particularly ex-girlfriend Jordan (Myha’la Herrold) – combined with her unexpected presence causes some tension. A game of “bodies, bodies, bodies” exacerbates these tensions even more, and when a real body is found outside the mansion the party falls into pandemonium as they try and search for the murderer in the group, fracturing friendships and bringing conflicts that were simmering to their boiling point.
Bodies Bodies Bodies benefits from a very strong script; snappy, funny and expertly paced to ensure a constant and engaging narrative momentum. There are several complicated emotional dynamics at play that keep the audience guessing to the end and actively involve them in the drama as it unfolds. These dynamics are supported significantly by the very talented cast, who all match the film’s tonal shifts from comedic to horrific perfectly and commit to their character bits flawlessly.
While it’s not really a slasher film, with most deaths taking place off-screen to facilitate the murder mystery, it borrows the aesthetics and cinematography of the genre to establish and maintain a constant atmosphere of uncertainty and dread, adding to the tension already established by the complex web of messy character dynamics. There’s a perfect blend of humour and horror here: the tension feeds into and enhances the comedy, and vice-versa, with neither element overpowering the narrative or wearing out its welcome.
The film also touches on a number of social issues including racism, sexism and ableism, exploring the ways they manifest by using the party as a microcosm of larger society, while lightly poking fun at the ways terminally-online teenagers use and misuse the language of social justice. While at times it feels like the script leans too hard on the same punchline, and can veer into the mean-spirited, it’s just self-aware enough to steer clear of falling into easy stereotypes. Critically, Halina Reijn’s movie allows the various characters to be interesting and multi-dimensional as well as vehicles for some great jokes.
Overall, Bodies Bodies Bodies is an intelligent and thoroughly engaging good time, effortlessly mixing comedy and horror and dashing in some compelling character drama to make an excellent cinematic cocktail. It’s not a perfect film by any means, but it’s definitely a fun one.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is released nationwide on 9th September 2022.
Watch the trailer for Bodies Bodies Bodies here: