Not Another Dumb Teen Slasher
A24’s latest effort is Bodies Bodies Bodies, directed by Halina Reijn (Instinct) and written by playwright Sarah Delappe (The Wolves). What looks like a fun-time slasher flick at first glance may disappoint by subverting expectations. I was enticed by the blazing promo track “Hot Girl” by Charli XCX, but when credits rolled I didn’t exactly feel like a “Hot girl, pop girl, rich girl.”
Bodies Bodies Bodies takes place when a group of young twenty-somethings (plus Greg) host a hurricane party in an opulent mansion. The group plays a mafia-type game called Bodies Bodies Bodies. But when the power goes out and one of them turns up actually dead, things are about to get a little less “Bitch I’m in the 212” and a little more “Disturbia.” This movie has a stellar cast: Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give), Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Rachel Sennott (Shiva Baby), Lee Pace (The Hobbit trilogy), Myha’la Herrold (HBO’s Industry), Chase Sui Wonders (Genera+ion), and Pete Davidson (dated Kim K that one time). Between the comedic and dramatic acting, they all absolutely kill it (if you’ll pardon the pun). With the addition of a clever twist ending, it’s the perfect 90-minute movie night. And of course, the soundtrack slaps.
While Bodies Bodies Bodies is fantastic, it takes a keen eye to find the gem that lies within. It’s easy to see where people get this movie wrong,; I mean, it starts with an extended lesbian makeout before the opening title slams into “Daddy AF” by Slayyyter. One thing to note is that these characters are annoying, but annoying in a “literally me” sort of way. Annoying in a “he’s a Libra moon, that says a lot,” sort of way. Annoying in a “podcasts take a lot of work, okay,” sort of way. But it’s also hilarious (primarily thanks to Rachel Sennott as Alice). If we didn’t have self-aware irony, what would Gen Z even be?
Only a cynic (or a nepo-baby in the case of one Lena Wilson) couldn’t see past the Gen Z camp to the message beneath. The characters’ lack of logic, focus on shallow drama, performative “allyship,” and overreliance on hollow buzzwords feel like a “people are dying, Kim” moment for our generation. You cannot help but feel bad when someone dies in this film, even when they’ve been insipidly stupid the entire time. That’s pretty much the whole point of the film. There’s something darkly funny and disturbing when the character Jordan says, “David’s parents are rich…rich people have guns.” There are many lines that reveal the harsh reality of the situation. While we Hyperpop, TikTok, and brawl on Twitter with whatever the issue of the day is, the world is burning down around us—in some cases quite literally.
So in a way, Bodies Bodies Bodies feels like a fun way for a slightly older generation to tell us to “touch grass,” especially meanwhile we get to watch Rachel Sennott be funny, Lee Pace be hot, and we get to watch Pete Davidson suffer (like we’ve always secretly wanted). Millennials survived 9/11, low-rise jeans, and MySpace. We should, at least, be able to survive one night without Wi-Fi and not kill each other. I give Bodies Bodies Bodies 4 out of 5 stars.
Connor Stanford is a Sophomore Theater Studies major who is waiting for an invitation to attend a party in an opulent mansion. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.