Home Entertainment ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ Slayed My Expectations

‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ Slayed My Expectations

by Hannah Effinger

We’ve gotten a few attempts at horror specifically tailored to Gen-Z but none quite like this film.

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” opens with Bee (Maria Bakalova) and Sophie (Amandla Stenberg), a new couple venturing into the hills of an undisclosed location to meet Sophie’s friends at one of their parents’ homes; enter Alice (Rachel Sennott), Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), David (Pete Davidson), Jordan (Myha’la Herrold) and Greg (Lee Pace).

Emma (Chase Sui Wonders) and David (Pete Davidson) get cozy in the calm before the storm.

Emma (Chase Sui Wonders) and David (Pete Davidson) get cozy in the calm before the storm. Photo courtesy of A24

The group is not expecting Sophie – let alone for her to bring a girlfriend in tow, and clear animosity ripples between members of the group as they begin to discuss Sophie’s arrival. Eventually, they decide to play Bodies Bodies Bodies: a game in which one person is assigned to be a murderer and has to silently kill the other players. They get through a singular round of the game until it takes an unexpected turn to its literal meaning, as one of the players is found actually dead and the power goes out. The group is left in the dark as they take it upon themselves to find the murderer as they try to protect themselves from becoming the next victim.

This has been my most anticipated movie of the year since I saw the teaser trailer in March, and wow was it worth the wait. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this movie’s one-hour and 35-minute runtime, and since my first draft of this review, I have seen it three more times. It was funny, realistic and suspenseful in a way many horror films have been missing the mark in recent years.

Coming off of A24’s other horror films of the year, “Men” and “X,” I didn’t mind the lack of actual jump-scare, gory horror I had originally expected from this film. The way the suspense builds throughout the movie is more than enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, but it does this in a way that breaks the predictable jump scare setup – opting for most of the murders to happen off-screen, leaving the finding of each body and the characters’ fears to drive the film forward.

The entire cast is absolutely phenomenal. From Bakalova’s quiet intensity and questionable motives to Davidson and Pace’s scarily believable rivalry, every member of the cast really shows up for this film. That being said, Sennott’s Alice and Stenberg’s Sophie are certainly the stand-out performances of the film.

Sennott’s comedic timing deserves an Oscar. Truly, this movie would not be as fun as it is without Alice. Sennott has a way of grabbing the audience by the throat and forcing them into the room with her, effortlessly capturing your attention every time she’s on screen. Despite the fact she is not exactly the main character, she is the backbone of this movie.

Alice (Rachel Sennott) lays on the floor during a game of Bodies Bodies Bodies. Photo courtesy of A24

Alice (Rachel Sennott) lays on the floor during a game of Bodies Bodies Bodies.
Photo courtesy of A24

Stenberg drives the more serious, emotional part of the film. Sophie regularly gets her dirty laundry aired out in front of her new girlfriend in an effort to smoke out the killer, and seeing Sternberg get to play this kind of unhinged character is truly impressive.

Overall, the plot of this movie isn’t completely anything new. The concept of seven kids partying in a massive house until someone dies mysteriously is an overused trope, but something about it just feels so fresh, and it gives a surprisingly accurate (albeit obviously satirical) portrayal of how kids in their early 20s act.

I’m normally pretty good at predicting who the killer is and who’s going to die in these types of movies. However, I was really thrown off by the film’s finale.

While I was in the theater, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending. I felt like I needed more from something that had such a long build-up (and I also was slightly upset my predictions were wrong). But reflecting on it now, I did end up loving it — it was unique, and it made complete sense within the context of the film.

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” is an instant cult classic. I wouldn’t be surprised if it fell into the campy horror canon next to other favorites like “Jennifer’s Body” (2009) and “Heathers” (1989) in the near future, so definitely see it in theaters while you still can.

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