“Bodies Bodies Bodies” is directed by Halina Reijn, an industry insider mostly known for acting, but one who also took on previous directorial work such as the dramatic thriller “Instinct.” This film stars Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give, The Darkest Minds), Maria Bakalova (The Bubble, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Myha’la Herrold (Plan B, Industry), Chase Sui Wonders (Generation, On the Rocks), Rachel Sennott (Shiva Baby, Call Your Mother), Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), and Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island, Big Time Adolescence). This film is set at a giant house during a violent hurricane. A group of twenty-somethings come together to have a “hurricane party” despite the dangers the storm might bring. As the party goes along, various shenanigans ensue ranging from being overly honest about friendship to actual death.
Ah yes, another A24 film! A24 is one of my favorite distributors in the market right now thanks to a series of great films like “Room” “Eighth Grade,” and “Minari.” All of these films are watchable and attractive in their own way. And the studio is killing it so far with its undoubtedly epic 2022 slate. One of their most recent films, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” might just be the cutest flick I have seen in years. It is also the first time I can remember, at least in a long time, laughing so hard in a theater that I drooled. And I cannot go on without recognizing the cinematic achievement that is “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Of the few multiverse stories that audiences have been treated to in recent history, this is the most heartfelt and an absolute treat of a movie. The film of focus for this review, “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” is one that I was looking forward to even without the A24 label being shown. That was just a bonus. The marketing has revealed some likable talent like Pete Davidson, who I enjoyed through his work on “Saturday Night Live” and even through his short appearance in James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad.” The movie looked dark but fun, and I was hoping for nothing more than maybe a scary good time.
“Bodies Bodies Bodies” advertises itself as a mix of slasher horror with a little bit of comedy. I thought both of those elements were well presented. Speaking of presentation, I am surprised to say that “Bodies Bodies Bodies” features some of my favorite shots of the year. The color palette leaps off the screen sometimes in the best possible way. The cinematographer of “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” Jasper Wolf, previously worked on “Instinct,” which as mentioned before, was also directed by Halina Reijn. I hope these two continue their business relationship on an upcoming project because this film looked better than I could have ever expected.
It’s been a couple weeks since I have seen “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” and I feel like I remember more about the movie’s spectacle and vibe more than its characters. The characters in “Bodies Bodies Bodies” are performed to the best of each actor’s ability. Honestly, this movie consistently elicits a feel that I am meeting a series of strangers in a club, so in a way it did its job. But if there is one thing that this film reminds me of, it is my inability to specifically remember everyone I just met. These characters, while they all have wild and dynamic personalities and are attractive at first glance, are not the most memorable. At times, the characters are slightly disposable despite the fact that I almost can imagine few specific actors filling a particular character’s role.
I was born in 1999, therefore I am amongst the Gen Z crowd. This film pokes fun at my generation and makes no apologies for it. The tagline is even fitting for the film, “THIS IS NOT A SAFE SPACE,” which uses a couple words that are often negatively associated with my generation. …And to be quite frank… Given the current social climate, almost every generation living today… Anybody ever heard of Fox News? As a satire, this film succeeds at what it sets out to do. Introduce a set of characters who are so twisted and out of left field that despite having traits that some might find down to earth, their flaws stick out like a sore thumb. This made the movie wildly entertaining, but if I must state a couple negatives, it is that this movie nearly travels like a bullet train, almost too fast. The other negative, is that the characters come off as idiots. That is the point, but it can get annoying. There are such things as lovable idiots, and this movie has its moments of lovable idiocy, but it also has an occasional over the top vibe that could be seen as a problem.
This movie’s title is “Bodies Bodies Bodies” because that is also the title of a game these twenty-somethings play with each other. Think of it as “Clue” but without the board. Now, I understood the movie just fine. I understood what it was trying to go for in regards to the message. But if I had come close to not understanding something in the movie, it would be the game itself. The rules and actions of the game, based on the way they are presented in the movie, come off as more convoluted than they have to be. Maybe it is because of the characters and the way they are written. These are all obnoxious partiers who risked their lives through a hurricane just to be in the same place. If I watch the game being played out, it is a somewhat simple premise, but through the exposition and explanation this movie gives, it feels more convoluted than it should. Although it does remind me of when my friends introduce me to a game I never played or I play Yahtzee with someone who is not that experienced with the game. We’re not going to get it right from square one.
When it comes to A24’s slate this year, “Marcel the Shell” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” are better movies. I would rather watch those again. Although, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” has more in line with the latter. “Bodies Bodies Bodies” has dark comedy, it is kind of zany, and fast-paced. Although if I must note one thing “Marcel” and “Everything Everywhere” had that this film did not, it would be heart. Granted, this is not the first film that I would think of when it comes to heart. It is a satire where friends almost in a way become enemies. If you are looking for an intentionally heartless movie, this might be a solid choice. But I also think this is where the movie becomes a double edged sword. The movie is really good at delivering a story where the characters become more and more unhinged. Although this craziness nearly reaches a tipping point which depending on your mood, could become a problem. Despite this, I had a good time with the movie and it was another solid addition to A24’s lovely roster of films.
In the end, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” was an absurdly fun movie. Emphasis on the absurd. This is not going to be a movie for everyone. Some might be annoyed by the pacing, others might think the characters are too over the top, and maybe it will not work as a satire. I had problems with the movie, and I evidently dove deep into them. But the positives of the film outweigh the negatives. I did laugh at the film, I found it amusing, but if I wanted to watch a horror movie where a bunch of rich people play a game around a single house, I would rather watch “Ready or Not.” Even with its flaws, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” is a fun time. I recommend the movie and I will give it a 7/10.
“Bodies Bodies Bodies” is now playing in theatres everywhere. Tickets are available now.
Thanks for reading this review! I have more reviews coming soon! Stay tuned for my thoughts on the new creature feature, “Beast!” Also, I will soon be sharing my honest opinions about “Elvis,” which I finally got the chance to see. Last but not least, look forward to my review of the all new anime film “Inu-Oh!” No joke, I had an AMC A-List reservation to go see this film, but I ended up skipping it due to a last minute conflict. So I ended up driving out of state just to go see the film before it left theaters for good. Was it worth the drive? You’ll find out soon! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Bodies Bodies Bodies?” What did you think about it? Or, what is a movie that you enjoy that has a ton of unlikable characters? I think “Jurassic World” is one that comes to mind given the main characters’ motives and lack of dimension, but it is quite a spectacle. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!