Review: Bodies Bodies Bodies

Score: B

Director: Halina Reijn

Cast: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott, Pete Davidson

Running Time: 95 Minutes

Rated: R

One of the most common complaints about slasher movies is how stupid the attractive characters are. In Bodies Bodies Bodies, a stylish new horror-comedy, the stupidity is kind of the point. None of the potential victims is particularly bright or resourceful. Who ends up alive at the end of the night is more of a matter of sheer luck.

Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give) stars as Sophie, a recovering addict who brings her new girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova) along for a weekend rager at a remote mansion. Their arrival exacerbates tensions among the group of friends. The jealous pals include podcaster Alice (Rachel Sennott), her mysterious hook-up Greg (Lee Pace), immature David (Pete Davidson), his weepy girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders) and wild card Jordan (Myha'la Herrold). Copious drug use and verbal abuse bring their simmering rage to the surface, all during a round of the titular game (a spin on Mafia, Werewolf, etc).

When the power goes out and someone ends up dead for real, the accusations start flying. This is where the movie shifts into satirical mode, exposing the self-absorbed nature of the Gen Z survivors. The script - written by newcomer Sarah DeLappe - is absolutely relentless in mocking everyone. But it's all low-hanging fruit. There are plenty of jokes about distrusting older people, misusing "gaslighting" and being glued to cell phones. None of this particularly trenchant insight, but it is a delight to see this group use faulty logic to try to find the killer and to stay alive.

Unlike past horror-comedies like Ready or Not or You're Next, there aren't really any scares in this film. It's much more concerned with its hangout vibes and rapid-fire jokes. Even its big emotional climax feels slight, especially since it's followed by the pitch-perfect reveal of the killer. That got the biggest laugh out of me.

Bodies Bodies Bodies is a great crowd movie, which adds to its charms. Even if its satire isn't as sharp as the killer's weapon, you're still bound to have a good time.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.