Bodies, Bodies, Bodies May Be A Cult Film In The Making

It’s probably no surprise that I love horror themed movies, amusement parks, video games, etc. It’s ironic because as a kid I remember watching the original Poltergeist and swore that I’d never watch horror movies again. Granted that lasted probably a whole month before I was back to sitting in a dark room with my friends enjoying the next fright fest that we could find. This time of year is particularly exciting as the fall season approaches, the Spirit Halloween stores begin to take over the husks of Sears, JCPenney’s and K-marts around the country. Even here in Phoenix where it’s still over 105 outside, you can still sense the crispness of Autumn in the air (even if it’s only in your head). It’s an exciting time for me, and for those who start decorating their house for Halloween as soon as Christmas is over.

Bodies Bodies Bodies represents the English directorial debut from Dutch Actress/Director Halina Reijn. Featuring a group of rich, Generation Z young adults who all have met up at a secluded mansion for a Hurricane Party. Overindulging in alcohol and drugs the group of friends settle in for a night of games as they ride out the storm. While playing a game conveniently called Bodies Bodies Bodies (hence the name) the friends begin to share their grievances with each other. Featuring a cast made up of mainly newcomers and foreign actors they all do their best with what they are given. Pete Davidson arguably the most well-known of them all portrays David, the host of the event at his parent’s house. Who regularly stirs up the most drama of all of his attendees. Amanda Stenberg, plays the outcast Sophie, who is still struggling with her previous addictions and the loss of her trust fund due to her questionable choices in the past. Her girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova) is the newcomer to the group who simply is trying to fit in. The group as a whole share an incredibly toxic relationship to one another, harboring deep resentment towards one another. Needless to say, the combination of resentment, drugs, and a game based on murder, doesn’t take long to go horribly wrong. After the apparent murder of their friend, the group quickly descends into paranoia, finger-pointing, and accusations which turns the night of fun and games into something much, much, darker.

Bodies Bodies Bodies unfortunately starts off incredibly slow. It’s not unusual for a movie such as this to use this time to build up suspense, work on character development, and lay the groundwork for the murders that are to come. Sadly, much of the first hour of the movie focuses on the “poor little rich kid” scenario, as they drone on about how difficult their lives are while not relatable to much of the audience that is there to see it. As a Gen X’er, there is clearly a lot of the film that must have somehow gone over my head. “Jokes” on screen had many in the audience laughing and left me desperately trying to figure out what I must have just missed. So, while I clearly admit that maybe I’m not the target audience, many films are inclusive regardless of the age of their viewers.

Ultimately, it’s the pacing of the film that lets it down the most. The build up is at a very slow pace, with all of the excitement taking place literally in the last twenty minutes of the film. For a film that only clocks in a little over an hour and half, it tries to do the most of the reason people attended the film in the first place relegated to the last part of the film. This I think is what disappointed me the most where Bodies Bodies Bodies is concerned. If I was simply reviewing the last thirty minutes of the film, it would have left a far better impression on me, then the feature as a whole. This is truly a film where you could come in late and sadly not miss anything. For a film that bills itself as a horror, dark comedy, it sadly lacks an abundance of either.

Bodies Bodies Bodies isn’t a terrible movie, in fact if you were to go out to Rotten Tomatoes as of the writing of this review it has a Fresh certification and sits at a 91% critics score and an 84% audience score. So clearly, I am in the minority of critics who came out of the film feeling a bit meh, or maybe I was one of the few to show up early and sit through its entirety. I like to think of myself as at least a little in-the-know of current events and terminology. I post to Youtube, I have an Instagram account with a mild following, I listen to all the current music and play all the recent games. So, I hesitate to say that the reason for my uninspired feelings on the film is simply a lack of understanding of the Gen Z plight. Maybe I just can’t relate to a group of young adults whose biggest concerns are how their podcasts are perceived, or whether my parents will reinstate my trust fund after successfully completing a drug and alcohol rehab program. Bodies Bodies Bodies is certainly not the worst horror film to come out in recent years, but it takes itself to seriously to be considered a B-rated film. While I certainly believe that it will gather a cult-like following in the years to come, it’s one that I can safely say to pass on until it reaches that point…or at the very least is freely streaming.

2.5 out of 5 stars