In Bodies Bodies Bodies, a group of friends gather together at a mansion for a ‘hurricane party’. A storm is on the horizon, it is expected to be very bad, so to ride out the turbulent weather, they plan to drink, smoke, and engage in various activities throughout the night.
One of these activities is a seemingly innocent murder-mystery game called ‘bodies, bodies, bodies’. In the game, one of the group is secretly chosen to be a ‘murderer’ and the rest of the players must work out their identity.
But shortly into the game, the friends fall out with each other, putting the activity on a temporary pause. As the group disperse, one of the friends ends up outside, and within minutes is seemingly killed for real.
Horrified by the death of their friend, and concerned for their own safety, the group attempt to flee the property in search of help. But when this proves impossible, especially with the storm impeding their exit, they are forced to remain in the mansion.
Gathered together, they start to speculate as to the identity of the killer. But as the accusations begin to fly, their paranoia worsens, and so too does the body count.
Over the course of the night, more deaths follow, with everyone becoming a suspect. But who is behind all the deaths, who can be trusted, and more importantly, who will survive until morning?
Directed by Halina Reijn, and starring Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Lee Pace and Pete Davidson, Bodies Bodies Bodies is a black comedy slasher movie. The film is currently on general release in UK cinemas, and will be arriving on digital video-on-demand platforms shortly.
In essence, Bodies Bodies Bodies is the horror equivalent of a ‘whodunnit?’, with a story which centres itself story around a murder mystery. The main thrust of the film is about a group of youngsters being bumped off during the course of a night, with the audience expected to follow along and guess who is behind it all.
Along the way, tensions are heightened, revelations are brought to the forefront, and all the characters become likely suspects. Some cutting dialogue, and often quite humorous lines are thrown into the mix, and a nice dollop of blood is splattered at the screen.
The aim of the movie is to provide a bit of intrigue, some thrills, a bunch of kills, and the odd chuckle here and there, and for the most part, it does all of this rather well. In fact, the only issue I have with Bodies Bodies Bodies, is that it takes a little too long to get going.
The build-up drags a bit, and this does slow things down at the beginning of the movie. However, get beyond this and once the main plot kicks in and the deaths start racking up, the film really finds its groove.
It is here where the fun begins and Bodies Bodies Bodies hits its stride. The murder-mystery angle is reworked for a horror audience, elements of a paranoid thriller are dropped into the picture, and the end result is something rather enjoyable.
In terms of the cast, everyone does a grand job; and that grand job is to make every character rather unlikeable. This film is not about watching your new favourite characters trying to survive; it is instead about watching a bunch of fairly dickish people getting despatched one-by-one.
I don’t expect anyone to sit through this film and get upset about who lives or dies, as there is barely anyone who is likeable (well, maybe one character). The film thrives on the premise that everyone is a suspect, so to make this as believable as possible, all of the characters have to be a bit annoying.
I came away from this film not liking anyone. I believe this is the point of the movie, so, I can only say well done to the cast for irritating me at times throughout the picture, and for generally making me not care about who makes it through to the end.
With regards to the writing, other than the sluggish start, which feels padded, the rest of the movie is sharp and interesting. The writing has a contemporary edge to it, which taps into the current era we find ourselves in, where suspicion and misinformation lurks around every corner, and this keeps things fresh.
The satirical tone of the dialogue is most welcome, and the staging of the deaths and the brutal unravelling of the mystery is well played. Some will figure out the finer details long before the final act, but this shouldn’t detract from the fun.
All-in-all, Bodies Bodies Bodies is smart, enjoyable, and well put together. It’s not perfect, but it is very good, and at this time of the year it is both a trick and a treat for horror fans.