A group of rich 20-somethings gather together in a remote mansion for a hurricane party in the new film, Bodies Bodies Bodies.
I don’t know who in the right mind would plan a hurricane party but okay. In any event, they decide to play a party game and as you can probably guess, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. It’s just the name of the game. It’s a horror comedy with plenty of elements from both genres. There are jump scares and yes, I did jump more than once. The thing about this film is that there is plenty of conversation about friendship and backstabbing. All through the backdrop of quite possibly the worst thing that anybody can do during a hurricane. Most people would evacuate to safety–not this group of 20-somethings!
Much to everyone’s surprise, Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) brings new girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova). Sophie doesn’t really respond to the group chat but David (Pete Davidson) is a longtime friend and she wants Bee to meet him. Also at the house are David’s actress girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), and their friends, still single Jordan (Myha’la Herrold) and podcast host Alice (Rachel Sennott). Alice has brought a much older boyfriend, Greg (Lee Pace). The question going into this movie is who will be left standing at the end of it? We know something’s going to go wrong. It’s not a matter of if but when. I’ve seen enough horror comedies to know that it isn’t going to end well.
With the rain falling harder as the hurricane gets into full gear, the group starts playing Bodies Bodies Bodies. The way that the game works is that they designate on person as the murderer. After turning the lights off, this person taps someone on the shoulder. When someone discovers the “dead person,” they have to shout the game’s name, After turning the lights back on, the group starts making their guesses. Before they have a chance to go into the next round, the power goes out. From hear on out, the real backstabbing begins after one of the friends turns up dead. It soon becomes a question not just of survival but can they even survive together.
In as much as this film is about a small friend group, it’s more than that. This is a film that truly reflects the world we’re living in, especially the hysteria and paranoia. You can see it in the characters–they start turning on each other even as they are fighting for survival. Listen, there’s a lot of tension that plays out during this film. This is a film that makes a deep dive into toxic friendships. Should they even still be friends with each other? How does Bee respond by being the outsider of the bunch? I’ll let you find out for yourself.
The power outage forces the cast to be creative with lighting the film on screen. They go with colored flashlights, LED lights, iPhones, glowsticks, and emergency lights. Whatever works, right?
In terms of casting, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm‘s Maria Bakalova’s shows that her Oscar nomination was no fluke. Similarly, Shiva Baby‘s Rachel Sennott crushes it once more. Amandla Stenberg also turns in a strong performance.
Sometimes, too much exposure is not a good thing. When I watch Pete Davidson in a film, I feel like I’m not watching a character but Davidson himself. Maybe that’s why his casting can be a turnoff for people. Again, I won’t get into spoilers so I will not tell you how much screen time he has in this horror comedy.
DIRECTOR: Halina Reijn
SCREENWRITER: Sarah DeLappe
CAST: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, with Lee Pace and Pete Davidson
A24 releases Bodies Bodies Bodies in theaters on August 5, 2022. Grade: 3.5/5
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