Bodies Bodies Bodies review

Maria Bakalova, Amandla Stenberg, Myha’la Herrold, Rachel Sennott
Credit: Gwen Capistran

In an opening image that is reminiscent of Larry Clark’s 1995 feature Kids, we are introduced to the two main characters making out on the side of the road. Sophie and Bee, played by Amandia Stenberg & Maria Bakalova, are heading up to Sophie’s best friend, David’s, house for a hurricane party. David, along with the rest of the crew seems surprised and confused that Sophie has arrived at the party and you can feel the tension between all of them as she introduces Bee to them.

Bee does not come from money like the rest of the crew and already feels nervous about meeting and hanging out with Sophie’s friends. Bee works at Gamehut and has a mother who is constantly texting her. We find out later on that her mother suffers from “borderline” and Bee is a little nervous about leaving her alone. Sophie on the other hand has been away due to being in rehab and trying to get her life back in order. The news of her sobriety gets a mixed result from her friends and adds to the tension that I mentioned before.

The other members of the crew include Alice, the free-spirit who does a podcast. Greg, who is Alice’s boyfriend. Jordan the strong-headed friend that might know more than the others. Emma, who is the actress in the group, and David, who is not only the comic relief but the one who creates the tension in most of the scenes he is in. (They are all respectfully played by Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, and Pete Davidson). Finally, there is Max, played by Connor O’Malley.

Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott
Credit: Erik Chakeen

The friends have all gotten together for a hurricane party and in the midst of partaking in booze and drugs, they stop to play a game of Bodies Bodies Bodies. The game rules are pretty simple: Each player gets a card. One of the cards has an “X” on it. The player that chooses the card with the “X” is the killer. The lights are turned off and all players have to avoid being touched by the killer. If someone is touched they have to drop to the floor and if they are found by another player the words “bodies, bodies, bodies” are yelled out and they all unite and try to figure out who the killer is. Pretty simple, right?

Before the group plays the game they sit in a circle, take a shot of liquor and slap the person sitting next to them. It wasn’t explained why they did this, but in this scene, you start seeing where these friendships lie. As the game of bodies, bodies, bodies start we see the brilliance in Halina Reijn’s direction. Since all the lights in the house are turned off the scenes are only lit by the lights on the actor’s mobile phones or flashlights. At times the jarring motion of the screen might feel like you are in POV (Point of View) mode of a video game and if you are sensitive to quick movements it might cause motion sickness.

Once the body in the game is found the crew gets together to figure out who the killer is. During this “interrogation” scene we see the friends start turning on each other. It seems that whenever they play this game arguments arise and someone ends up crying. David tries to one-up Greg, which leads to Greg calling it a night early. This disagreement between the guys causes the girls to think the killer is David. David gets defensive and lashes out at Emma and the other girls when he finds out that Emma has been talking about their relationship. David violently leaves the room after breaking a glass or two.

The girls decide to play another round of the game and as she is trying to find a place to hide, Bee is startled by ——- who crashes against a door with a life-threatening injury. Soon the others find Bee and the body and attempt to save their friend. Since the storm is at its peak the power is out at the mansion and their cell phone reception is gone. Here is where the roller coaster begins. When you have a group of young adults together who have been drinking, doing drugs, and have some type of hate for their friends, their thinking and logic is not straight.

What was once a group of tight-knit friends starts unraveling as secrets from their past are being bought into the spotlight. Friends start revealing their true selves which makes the guessing game of who the killer really is much harder. While Alice gets some great moments, Maria Bakalova’s Bee is the audience’s “in” to this crew by being the new person and not really fitting in with the rest of them. We can relate to Bee who is just trying to survive and still be liked by the people in this toxic group. At one point after cleaning herself of blood and vomit she puts on a little makeup to be presentable to the group.

The kills in this movie are not as gory as in most horror movies and Bodies Bodies Bodies is more of a comedy horror than a straight-up slasher film. The dead bodies we see are pretty gruesome but the camera doesn’t really stay on them long enough for you to see the damage done. Again the use of the darkness makes your imagination see what is not on the screen and you will swear you see people hiding out in the background of certain scenes.

Final Thoughts: Bodies Bodies Bodies is a fun, energetic whodunit for the TikTok generation. The movie builds up the suspense and keeps you guessing who the killer is. The frantic camerawork and use of low light make you feel like you are in the house. Rachel Sennott is the standout in her role as Alice as she steals all the scenes she is in.

Kid-Friendly: This movie is not for children. There are scenes of drug use, intimacy, and violent fights with weapons. There are plenty of curse words throughout the movie.

Violence: There is a lot of violence in this movie in the form of fighting, guns, and knives.

When a group of rich 20-somethings plans a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game goes awry in this fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends, and one party gone very, very wrong.

Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, with Lee Pace and Pete Davidson

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