Initially, Bodies Bodies Bodies seems content to be a less stylish take on Spring Breakers. But then, it deviates from what looks like a standard horny and drug addled young adult debauchery escapade into something far more entertaining.
A group of friends reunite at a posh house for a killer weekend they won’t soon forget. Well, at least those that survive.
Sophie (Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give) brings her new girlfriend, Bree (Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), to the bash where the rest of the gang has already downed plenty of shots and snorted enough lines to pre-game properly.
Jordan (Myha’la Herrold) isn’t as receptive at the new arrival considering her past — i.e. a particularly messy breakup — with Sophie.
Sophie’s BFF, David (Pete Davidson, The Suicide Squad) and longtime friend, Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), are still navigating their complicated relationship status. That’s not the case with Alice (Rachel Sennott) who’s perfectly content with her new guy, Greg (Lee Pace, Captain Marvel), the seemingly kinda skeevy older guy hanging out with a girl that would be the age of his daughter.
David, used to being the lone guy in the group, takes an immediate disliking to Greg, who’s beyond the point of trying to impress 20-something dudes for no reason. But why bicker when it’s more fun getting hammered?
After Tik Toking and emptying bottles, the crew decides to play their old standby game of Bodies Bodies Bodies. Someone is randomly selected as the murderer and the others have to determine the killer before they’re all wiped out. Some old feelings and unspoken issues finally come out in the open resulting in a tense and angry end to the game.
At least it’s just a game… until someone dies before the group prompting a series of paranoia-filled accusations and speculation about who’s trying to kill everyone. Provided they make it past the murderer there’s that little matter of the hurricane that knocked out most of the power in the area.
Screenwriter Sarah Delapp, expanding a story by Kristen Roupenian, has a delicious flair for merging a classic whodunit with modern sensibilities. The dialogue is intense giving the cast an ample amount of showcase moments and time in the spotlight.
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Director Halina Reijn (Instinct) has a terrific sense of how long to let scenes play out. In some cases, it feels like maybe a sequence is starting to drag out, but Reijn infuses it with the ideal amount of dread and mistrust to maintain the tension.
Cinematographer Jasper Wolf creates a very atmospheric setting. Mining camera lights, the illumination of cell phones and glow stick necklaces offer just enough lighting to keep the setting somewhat claustrophobic while allowing viewers to make out what’s actually happening.
There’s not a weak link in the ensemble. Stenberg and Bakalova have the most screen time allowing them to peel back layers of their characters as more secrets get revealed and feelings exposed. Herrold stood out as the alpha trying vainly to keep control in an unpredictable setting. Sennott and Wonders have excellent moments as their characters slowly unravel as more bodies start stacking up.
The payoff scene is spectacular. So often these extended confessional scenes completely rob films/shows of the momentum with an unsatisfying and weird resolution. With Bodies Bodies Bodies, the big moment delivers with some exceptionally funny dialogue that pokes fun at the buzzwords of the moment casually thrown around by millennials.
But it’s the ending that really solidifies the film as one of 2022’s must-watched. It’s twisted, clever and completely in line with everything revealed with these characters. The bodies hitting the floor have rarely been as entertaining as it plays out in this dark horror comedy.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: A24
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