As the horror genre continues to reinvent itself for new generations & audiences, it’s no surprise to see Bodies Bodies Bodies come along. With its Gen Z cast and social media, spoilt, rich-kid characters Bodies Bodies Bodies feels like a film very much identifying with its time.
The film starts with Bee (Maria Bakalova) and her girlfriend Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) travelling to the mansion of Sophie’s ultra rich friend for a “hurricane party.” Here we meet David (Pete Davidson) — whose parents own the mansion, and a collection of Sophie’s other, so-called, friends, who seem unable to interact on a basic human level outside and of the comfort of their mobile phones and the security of social media. Once the group starts drinking and snorting, they soon get bored enough to start a game of “Bodies Bodies Bodies” and as one storm rages outside, another is taking place inside and the body count starts to mount up.
Once the killings start, Bodies Bodies Bodies plays less like a slasher film and more like a whodunnit. There are elements of Scream dotted throughout the film, but director Halina Reijn and writer Kristen Roupenian lack the confidence and incisive wit of that films dream team of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson. It could be argued that it’s unfair to compare the two films, but it’s glaringly obvious where this film is taking it cues from. It also lacks the likability of Screams’ phenomenal cast, here replaced by a bunch of characters whose actors are probably not a million miles away from the people they are portraying. That said, Bakalova’s Bee and Lee Pace’s Greg are the only two who escape with any credit. Showing the anxiety of two people out of their depth as a working class girl, and an older man dating a much younger girl in Rachel Sennott’s Alice, among a group of deeply unlikeable young adults who all seemingly all hate each other.
It’s that last part which really stings. Bodies Bodies Bodies looks good and is well shot by Jasper Wolf. And it sounds incredible too, to the point where you forget about the effects, because it genuinely does feel like a storm is raging outside. But in a film where everyone hates each other so much, it’s hard to care about any of their outcomes. And for all the film has to say on the toxic nature of young friendships and the use of social media to portray ones life as something it’s not, Bodies Bodies Bodies ultimately feels like its cast of characters who have a lot to say, but nothing worth listening to.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is available from 7 November to download & keep, and from 28 November to rent on digital and own on Blu-ray.
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