There have been plenty of horror films where a group of young people meets up in a single location. This horror trope is so old it’s hardly an original idea for a movie… that is, until now. You have a young couple meeting their friends at a secluded mansion on a mountain during a hurricane. I haven’t seen this before, and that’s the premise of Bodies Bodies Bodies.
Sophie and Dee (Amandla Sternberg and Maria Bakalova) are two young lovers on a winding Mountain Road going to a friend’s house on the top of a mountain. When they get there, they are welcomed and embraced by their friends. The friends include David (Pete Davidson), whose house it is, his girlfriend Emma (Chase Lui Wonders), Alice (Rachel Sennott), her boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace), and Jordan (Myhala Herrold). This group has a lot of history together that starts to come out in the wash when they play a game of Bodies, Bodies, Bodies.
These types of films like to play off of the backstories of the characters involved in the movie. These characters’ backstories are extensive and lead to a lot of drama. Ex-lovers and new short-term lovers are all up in each other’s faces! And people that haven’t been seen in a while because they’ve been jilted show up unannounced. This kind of drama is what the film is anchored on until it turns crazy. When the hurricane comes, all hell breaks loose.
This film leans in on all the horror tropes of the past but has a comedic side that is pretty funny, mainly due to Pete Davidson’s character, who throws out one-liners like they are candy. He is definitely on the lighter side if you want to call it that of the film. It balances both comedy and drama perfectly. Right when there is a tense moment, something funny is said or done to break the tension. That’s the balance I’m talking about. This film threads the line when it needs to be dramatic or funny. The writers, Sarah Delappe and Kristen Rouperian, deserve all the credit for this. They wrote an ingenious script.
The thing I thought that was a little overdone in the film was the jargon that young people say these days, like gaslight and so forth. These phrases were a little overdone in the film; whether scripted or ad-libbed, they took me out of what was a pretty entertaining film. It makes everything feel so overdramatized.
Another problem with the film was that it looked great until the lights ended up going out during the storm. The cinematography wasn’t good during these scenes. I could hardly see what was happening because there wasn’t enough lighting in these scenes. Whether this was a conscious decision by the director Halina Reijn or not, who knows. I just thought that the darker scenes were too dark. The daylight scenes looked great, though. Maybe she wanted to have a contrast in the various scenes to make them look entirely different.
The film relies on a twist at the end that is contingent on the rest of the film being as believable as possible as far as the story, plot, and characters realistic behavior go. That is the part of the film that works involving the twist. The twist brings everything home in the end and makes the film that much more satisfying to me. I can get past some of the other things I mentioned as long as this all comes together. It did.
Bodies Bodies Bodies has a premise and concept that is familiar to a lot of people. Despite that, the story is interesting except for a few modern takes on characters. The cinematography is very dark at night, and it’s hard to see at times, even though characters use cellphone lights to see where they’re going. The actors, mostly established stars, do a good job balancing the line between comedy and drama, which keeps the viewer on their feet throughout the film. This film hinges on a twist that if it didn’t have, the film would be a complete waste of time, but because of the modern take on the film, it works. This is one of the craziest endings you’ll see all year, and I completely bought it hook, line, and sinker.
3 1/2 stars
Dan Skip Allen
Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media