Still of Amandla Stenberg and Maria Bakalova in Bodies Bodies Bodies

Film Review: Bodies Bodies Bodies

Film Reviews

Bodies Bodies Bodies
Director: Halina Reijn

A24, Stage 6 Films
In Theaters 08.05

We’ve been in dire need of some original horror films. While I love a good reboot here and there, there’s nothing like an unprecedented, inventine film to turn the tide. A24 horror films (Midsommar, X, The Witch) are almost entirely unpredictable, even when playing with common horror tropes. There’s a reason these films are so loved. While it isn’t a puzzle you’ll be piecing together like the aforementioned films, Bodies Bodies Bodies, directed by Halina Reijn, is just as unpredictable.

The film revolves around a group of rowdy, college-aged kids who meet for a small party at hype-beast David’s (Pete Davidson, The King of Staten Island, The Suicide Squad) secluded mansion. As the story opens, we meet the main characters, Bee (Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) and Sophie (Amandla Stenberg, The Hate You Give), a young, lovesick couple.

Sophie professes her love for Bee before they head off to a night they won’t expect. At David’s pool, we meet self-righteous actress Emma (Chase Sui Wonders, On The Rocks, Genera+ion), outspoken girly-girl Alice (Rachel Sennott, Shiva Baby), Alice’s older, “zen” boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace, Guardians of The Galaxy) and strong-willed Jordan (Myha’la Herrold, Industry). After a copious amount of alcohol, drugs and a game called Bodies Bodies Bodies, chaos, blood and jump scares ensue. 

It’s difficult to go into details without giving any major plot points away, but the film itself isn’t overly complex. By the time you leave the theater, you’re not searching for any deeper meaning, but Bodies Bodies Bodies takes an old structure—the “whodunnit” mystery thriller—and gives it a whole new focus. Modern film and television often portray younger generations very poorly, falling short by over-emphasizing wardrobe, dialogue and trends in a way that is borderline parodic; most films try and fail, but this one hits it right on the nose. 

Bodies Bodies Bodies offers a scathing commentary on Gen Z’s performative allyship (when poking fun at Alice’s response to dramatic and humorous mentions of race and mental health) and even their obsession with astrology, while also exploring how a modern 20-something would react in life-threatening circumstances. Each character represents different personalities of this generation, and it’s fascinating watching these personalities unwind, react and perform under horrifying conditions. 

The cast is only made up of seven characters, with one more popping in at the end, but the delivery of each and every one of them will keep you enraptured for the full 90 minutes. With her charisma and humor, Sennott steals the show and may even remind you of someone you know. She aces a relatable, cringe-worthy character and speaks volumes about Gen Z and what we consume online. Sennott is a star, and I’m eager to see her take on more roles.

Bodies Bodies Bodies doesn’t take itself too seriously, but its execution gets five stars. It doesn’t take the audience anywhere too far either, but it has enough twists and turns to keep you questioning and yearning for answers. Hats off to Reijn for providing a simple, yet refreshing take on the horror genre. It’s frightening, hilarious and hits home for a TikTok-fueled, pop-culture-obsessed Gen Z-er like myself. Oh, and the soundtrack is killer (wink-wink). –Birdy Francis

Check out more A24 film reviews:
Film Review: The Lighthouse
Film Review: Midsommar