Bodies Bodies Bodies is a slasher satire of gen-Z egoists
Incorporating elements of slasher horror, whodunnit, and dark comedy, Halina Reijn’s English directorial debut Bodies Bodies Bodies distinguishes itself with a wry smile in a genre often overwrought with cliché and predictable storytelling.
The latest offering from A24 — who graced our screens with unexpected gems like Everything Everywhere All At Once and last year’s The Green Knight — provides equal doses of cynical humour, engaging characterisation and technical prowess in its short-but-sweet 95-minute runtime.
It centres around a group of wealthy, backstabbing twenty-somethings who have organised a drug-fueled hurricane party in a secluded family mansion. Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) and her new girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova) are the last to arrive, immediately establishing an uneasy yet hilarious dynamic between the hypercritical and self-obsessed ensemble of characters.
As the evening progresses, with tensions mounting and the storm raging relentlessly, the group decides to play Bodies Bodies Bodies, a take on Murder in the Dark, which passes the time nicely until corpses begin stacking up for real.
With no phone reception or power, the group panics, believing one among them is the murderer stalking them through the pitch-black expanses of the mansion. Lingering close-ups of each character make us equally suspicious participants in the unfolding murder mystery.
They maliciously and personally attack one another’s insecurities to defend their own. Alice (Shiva Baby’s Rachel Sennott) is the standout here, scapegoating her friends whenever she feels threatened.
Other characters throw around hostile buzzwords, from “narcissist” to “toxic”, like they mean nothing; the cleverly executed script candidly brings these Gen-Z egoists to life.
Special mention should go to the sound design, with Disasterpeace’s pulsating synth score rising in intensity ason with the deftly-paced escalation of events.
Building towards a remarkably fitting climax, Bodies Bodies Bodies thrives where other slasher films have floundered – by taking a character-driven approach rather than simply aiming to please genre fans.