Bodies Bodies Bodies is a dark comedy horror thriller directed by Halina Reijn. It’s also the first English movie she’s directed. The trailer sells it as a hilarious comedy that satirises teenagers and their want to always be the victim. Well in this movie, they certainly ARE the victim!
It’s one of those storylines we’ve all heard before in horror movies. Younglings get together during a storm to party, and shit hits the fan. What makes Bodies Bodies Bodies different, is it’s take on class, race, and our desire to always be the victim. Or to claim we are being cancelled. Or that we’re being gaslit, lots of stuff we hear from Trump, basically.
Bodies, so many bodies
A group of rich kids hunker down while a hurricane does its thing and they decide to play a murder game. One of them is designated murderer, and they have to go around, in the dark, playing catch. Using a variety of light sources, from cell phones to glow sticks, they play the game. Only there seems to be a great deal of tension between these ‘friends’. Issue from their past that slowly start to manifest as the situation gets more and more dire.
David, an obnoxious right brat with a face you’d also want to punch, suddenly appears outside in the storm, bashing on the house window, with his throat slit. We then go through the motions as they try and figure out, whodunnit style, who… Well… done it. And this is a new take on this genre. But to warn you, the first half is a bit all over the place.
I expected Bodies to be a lot funnier. They certainly sold it this way in the trailer. Suffice it to say, almost all of the funniest parts are in the trailer. With a few exceptions. I think the first half suffers from characters being too one dimensional, while trying to appear deep. This Gen Z group are all, well, horrible. I get that is the point. With the exception of the co-leads Bee (Maria Bakalova), her girlfriend Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) and annoying yet excellent Alice (Rachel Sennott) the rest are background noise. That said, they are all great actors and chew up their scenes.
There are very few jump scares in this horror, and not much in way of gore. Sure, some bloody bits happen, but it’s hardly a Scream level horror flick. Indeed, even as far as the satire goes, it left me wanting more. You only really get the fun and smart bits of satire towards the end. One scene in particular had the cinema audience laughing their heads off and involved a character being ‘unfairly’ labelled as upper-middle class. How dare you! The look of horror at this label, because it assumes privilege, and not poverty, was superb. I just wish there was more of it! I thought the ending was also brilliant, and subverted the tropes of the genre.
The directing is also spot on in Bodies. Halina Reijn does an incredible job with lighting, having our vapid teens running about in the dark while all the lights are out could have led to a lot of confusion. But this is avoided by clever use of phones, and emergency alarm lights.
I felt personally attacked though, when one of the characters, Max, (Conner O’Malley) is described as being ‘old’ because he’s 40. You cut me!
If you enjoy horror movies, like Scream, then I think you’ll enjoy this. The rather sloppy first half is propped up by great acting though, and the second half sinks its teeth into a funny as hell exploration of teen angst. Also, the ending is hysterical.
I give Bodies Bodies Bodies a…