BODIES BODIES BODIES
August 12, 2022 / Sony Pictures Canada
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha'la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson
Directed By: Halina Reijn
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.
Written By Darren
Rating 4 out of 5
Bodies Bodies Bodies is a killer fun time, full of suspense, laughs and tons of twists and turns that only an A24 horror film can deliver!
Ever since Bodies Bodies Bodies premiered earlier this year at SXSW to rave reviews, I have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to catch A24’s latest horror flick. When it comes to horror, A24 has made a name for itself with such notable films as Midsommar, Hereditary and The Lighthouse, each delivering their own unique and twisted vision that has shaken audiences to their core. And for their latest film, audiences are treated to the most deadly slumber party that can only be described as Clue meets Scream. The film follows a group of wealthy 20 somethings year olds partying it up during a hurricane and playing their favourite party game. But once the power goes out, the game turns deadly and as the body count begins to rise, the survivors begin to question who among them is the killer.
As an audience member, you are viewing the entire event through the eyes of Maria Bakalova’s Bee, the new girlfriend of Amandla Stenberg’s Sophie, who is meeting Sophie’s group of friends for the first time. Both you and Bee are in the dark as to the relationships between this group of friends to begin, left to infer snide remarks as to the tension in the group. As the film progresses and the body count begins to rise, their dark secrets are divulged to you as Bee discovers this group’s dysfunctions. It’s the perfect lens to tell the film’s story through, as you are forced to question whether any of these characters are telling the truth or if they are trying to hide that they are the killer, much like the party game they were playing. As to the actual identity of the killer, the screenplay will keep you guessing until the final scene when all is revealed through an absolutely brilliant plot twist that changes everything you just watched.
Sprinkled throughout the screenplay is a biting commentary on friendship, millennials, and how quickly people will stab their friends in the back under pressure. This commentary creates some truly outrageously funny moments throughout the film as the characters say the darndest things before the next body is discovered. Aiding in the creation of the suspense in the film is striking cinematography. With the hurricane having knocked out the power, the film is shot mostly in darkness with the odd emergency light, cell phone flashlight, or glow stick necklace providing the only source of light. It drowns the film in blackness which keeps you on edge as you know that the killer could be lurking in the darkness at any moment, while also symbolizing the darkness and toxic relationships between this group of friends.
Though, the film relies heavily on its cast to bring the utter craziness of this story to life, and all of them deliver great performances. Stenberg leads the cast as Sophie, and she is great as the deeply flawed friend returning to her friend group after ghosting them for months. There is nuance to her performance, as Stenberg hides Sophie’s insecurities and faults, trying to show Sophie’s friends that she has improved herself, as she slowly loses herself to her faults over the course of the night. Bakalova, in a very different role than her breakout performance in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, brings a tenderness to Bee as she finds herself in over her head with Sophie and her messed up friends. Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott and Myha’la Herrold are all great as the rest of the girls in Sophie’s friend group, each having their defining personality and delivering some truly laugh out loud moments. Pete Davidson is doing his usual comedic stick, this time as a bit of an asshole, and it works perfectly in this film.
Though, my favourite was Lee Pace’s Greg, one of the older boyfriends of the girls. Pace is a true delight as the carefree older guy, just along for the party, but also not really caring for a second about the millennials drama. There is a levity to his performance that is infectious, while also leading to some of the funniest moments of the film as he truly thinks that the girls are playing games with him saying that someone has died. It’s yet another example of how underrated of an actor Pace is, how he always crafts a great character, and how his performance can add something special to any film he is cast in. Packed with laughs, twists and turns, some great scares, and above all lots of bodies, Bodies Bodies Bodies is a wildly entertaining horror comedy that benefits from great performances that is another excellent addition to A24’s catalogue of films.