Bodies Bodies Bodies is a fun break from the slew of sequels and prequels that make up the slasher subgenre. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, yet I was still startled by most of the jumpscares. For Gen-Z audiences, it is a rather relatable film, though hopefully, no one experiences the nightmare of that hurricane party.
Bodies Bodies Bodies
Director: Halina Reijn
Release Date: August 5, 2022
The film starts out with girlfriends Bee (Maria Bakalova) and Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) on their way to a hurricane party. They meet up at the family mansion of the wealthy David (Pete Davidson), alongside the rest of Sophie’s rich friends. From the start, the group is dysfunctional, constantly ribbing each other and making backhanded comments. There’s Jordan (Myha’la Herrold), who gives Bee a warning about Sophie. Then there’s Alice (Rachel Sennott) and her older boyfriend, Greg (Lee Pace). David’s girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders) is also in attendance.
After the hurricane begins, the group decides to play the real party game “Bodies Bodies Bodies” (though it goes by a different name). As predicted by some of the group, it ends in tears and yelling.
Things rapidly escalate when David is found by Bee with his throat slashed. At this point, the tension from the surprise arrival by Bee and Sophie is combined with the disaster of the game. After realizing it wasn’t a stranger out to get them, the crew turns their blame inwards. One by one they accuse each other of murder, and one by one they’re killed off.
There’s a lot that works in Bodies Bodies Bodies. Personally, I thought the dynamics between the cast worked wonderfully, especially when it came to Rachel Sennott as the slightly air-headed Alice. Her comedic timing and flair for dramatics was easily a highlight of the film. Everyone else pulled their weight as well, creating a believably tense atmosphere that lasted until the final moments of the film.
The art direction and music cements Bodies Bodies Bodies as a horror film for Gen-Z. Featuring artists like Charli XCX, Tyga, Azaelia Banks, and Slayyyter, the music is as up-to-date as it could be and reflects the popular artists that young adults love. In terms of the way the film looks, the lighting is practical and is never too dark (as in you can still see what’s going on even though the power’s out the whole time).
Comedy and horror are balanced beautifully in Bodies Bodies Bodies. The two elements bounce off each other, with comedy leading into horror and vice versa. The writing definitely sounds like a 20-something wrote it, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Most slasher movies are products of their time, using pop culture references to invite their audiences in. Think of films like Scream and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which remain popular because of how they reflect the social conditions they were made in while still communicating timeless ideas.
Bodies Bodies Bodies does the same thing. While I think some of the dialogue might be “cringey” in a few years, people really talk (or tweet) like that, especially young rich people who are a little out of touch with the realities that most Americans face. That’s something else I appreciated about Bodies Bodies Bodies: the critique of capitalism and inherited wealth. All of the characters come from money except for Bee, who is a working class immigrant. This is vital information, as it reveals her own insecurities in her relationship with Sophie and her status as an outsider in the group.
Bodies Bodies Bodies subverts some of the biggest tropes of the slasher genre. In the most well-known slasher movies, there’s always a killer. Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Michael Myers in Halloween, and Ghostface in Scream are some of the most famous. Bodies Bodies Bodies doesn’t have someone hiding behind a mask who’s out to brutally murder teenage girls. Rather, the group quickly decides that one of the party members must be responsible for the violent deaths of their friends.
Even when Sophie and Bee are the only two standing, they’re still accusing each other. It’s only when they find David’s phone and see the Tiktok he was in the middle of making that they understand the error of their ways. It’s a hilarious subversion but it also works to reveal the inherent distrust that these young adults had for each other.
That leads to another trope that Bodies Bodies Bodies subverts. Since Bee and Sophie are the only survivors there is no “final girl” that is so popular in the slasher genre. This fact, combined with the revelation that there’s no killer, likely means that there won’t be a sequel (or prequel) to Bodies Bodies Bodies.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is a refreshingly funny movie that examines the way friend groups don’t always have each other’s best interests at heart. Aside from being funny, the film also brings a lot of tense moments to the screen and is full of blood.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is currently in theaters in the US.