a24 films, amandla stenberg, bodies bodies bodies, halina reijns, lee pace, maria baj=kalova, peter davidson, rachel sennott, sarah delappe
Halina Reijns’ follow up feature to her confrontational drama Instinct taps into the darker comedic vein and delivers a modern equivalent to the vacuous nature of Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero mixed with some serious slasher vibes. Like the 1980s novel, the screenplay to Bodies, Bodies, Bodies by Sarah DeLappe flirts with the hollow void of the youth, searching for something to fill their lives through sex and drugs, but finding the emptiness still resides. Here the narrative sets the group of misguided adolescents buker down together in a mansion during a hurricane (itself a metaphor for the turmoil that surrounds them the outside world forcing them to look inside themselves) and play a murder game similar to wink murder, but with drastic consequences.
At first it all feels typical of a party where rules are inconsequential; the liquor flows and the lines of illicit consumption begins, plus the dalliance of emotions ripple beneath the surface as old friends play out familiar roles to settle in for the night.
New to the group is Bee (Maria Bakalova), introduced by her girlfriend Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) and at first struggles to find the comfort spot amongst an already tight batch. What may seem a united camaraderie soon comes unstuck however when the secrets or quashed emotions rise to the surface and the true feelings bubble over amounting to a sea of carnage and mistrust.
The shift in tone amounts when David (Peter Davidson), who lives in the mansion and is a childhood friend to Sophie is found dead with a slash to his throat caused by a kukri, All eyes turn on each other, starting with Greg (Lee Pace) the boyfriend to Alice (Rachel Sennott) and like Bee an outsider to the collective. Suspicions soo escalate further among them as old wounds are addressed and the body count rises.
Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is another strong delivery from A24 Films, which delicately plays with a murder mystery in an incestuous minefield of youthful emotions. Rejin constantly questions the role that the Gen Z have in finding their place in the world. Where do loyalties lie? And what happens when trust is no longer apparent?
It’s a fun and enjoyable ride, which may not necessarily tread new territory in the realms of horror but don’t let that deter you.
- Saul Muerte