© A24 Films

Bodies Bodies Bodies Movie Review


Pitched as “Lord Of The Flies meets Mean Girls“ by director Halina Reijn, Bodies Bodies Bodies is an insanely fun watch, no matter what the trailer makes you think. Judging by the trailer, it appears to be a slasher but is in actuality a Gen Z-flavoured murder mystery, as James A. Janisse of Dead Meat aptly describes it. But Bodies Bodies Bodies is not just a whodunnit, it is a dark satire — more specifically, it is a comedy first and a whodunnit second. The comedic beats come from the hilarious performances by the talented cast who are playing their over-the-top characters straight and taking themselves seriously to the point of comedy. So if you wrote this movie off after seeing the trailer and automatically hating the vapid, Gen Z characters, just know that you’re meant to and that they’re intentionally played that way for laughs. Now that you’re over your first impression of the trailer, let’s get to the plot…

© A24 Films

Another hit from A24, Bodies Bodies Bodies centres around a group of hyper rich, privileged “best” friends and their partners who are waiting out a massive hurricane by throwing a hurricane party (as only the privileged can) at their friend, David’s (Pete Davidson’s) mega-mansion. Existing tensions run high between this group of frienamies and reach a breaking point when, fuelled by copious amounts of drugs and alcohol, they play the titular game, Bodies Bodies Bodies (a.k.a. Mafia) and a real dead body turns up. Cue absolute chaos.

Two central types of tension run parallel to one another in the film, keeping it fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. Besides the obvious tension from the bodies bodies bodies piling up, there is massive tension building within the already fragile friendships between characters. Everyone is rapidly turning on each other as old secrets are revealed and accusations are flying while they try to find out who among them is the killer. With their lives in jeopardy, characters make increasingly self-destructive decisions that ultimately lead to their own demise and the demise of those around them.

© A24 Films

The two biggest hurdles this movie has to overcome are the expectations of viewers who were misguided by the trailer and expecting a slasher, as well as people who do not understand the movie’s satirical tone. For this reason, it is important to go into this movie with the right expectations. As previously mentioned, it is not clear from the trailer that this is a satire. As with the nature of satires, people will be inevitably be divided on it — some people will get it and and some people won’t. During both of the screenings that I attended, the divide in the audience was evident between the handful of viewers who were laughing (and laughing hard) throughout the film, and the majority who, in stark contrast, were markedly not laughing. Nothing explicitly tells us it’s a comedy, so some audiences won’t get what they expect. Essentially, if they are expecting a slasher with dumb, unlikable, two-dimensional characters whose sole purpose is to be killed off, they might feel duped when the movie they get is a whodunnit, the over-the-top characters don’t meet their expectations, and/or the satire goes over their head (womp womp).

The two biggest hurdles this movie has to overcome are the expectations of viewers who were misguided by the trailer and expecting a slasher, as well as people who do not understand the movie’s satirical tone. For this reason, it is important to go into this movie with the right expectations. 

On the subject of satire, the actors playing their characters straight was the key to some absolutely hilarious moments — especially in combination with writer, Sarah DeLappe’s decision to allow the actors to ad-lib lines of dialogue. Allowing the actors to improvise lines not only created great comedic moments but lent to the authenticity of the film’s portrayal of Gen Z when it was written and directed by a generation far removed from them. Most notably, the always-talented Rachel Sennott gave a standout performance as Alice and delivered a majority of the most quotable lines in the movie.

© A24 Films

When it comes to Gen Z, it should be noted that this movie is not a savage takedown of them, as one might assume. First and foremost, Bodies Bodies Bodies is a commentary on classism while also taking aim at our reliance on technology. It never feels mean-spirited towards Gen Z (who may very well be their target audience). Rather, it mocks internet dialogue and cringey social media discourse, which in the spirit of self-deprecation, we can all laugh at. As a whole, the film namely feels like a critique of toxic friendships — an issue not unique to Gen Z — that makes some of us millenials question our own friend group dynamics. As director Reijn explained, “The film depicts both the toxicity but also the seduction of a friend group. We all live in a world where we’re not actually looking at each other or seeing what’s going on. The characters in the film, they’re not really looking at what’s taking place; they’re just reacting, and that becomes almost a hysteria. Under pressure, we’re much more driven by our primal urges than we would like to think.”

Plot aside, I would be remiss not to mention the creative cinematography in this film. Specifically, the lighting techniques that are cleverly executed to represent each character. When the power cuts out, each character uses alternative light sources aside from the logical flashlights and lanterns. As Variety explains, “Party girl Alice (Rachel Sennott) drapes herself in glow stick jewelry, while type-A Jordan (Myha’la Harrold) goes for an LED headlamp. Chilled-out Greg (Lee Pace) even dons a vibrant blue light therapy mask.” The creative lighting choices pull double duty to not only suck you into the tension and excitement of the game playing out onscreen but also to underscore the commentary of how Gen Z is terminally online and glued to their phones.

As far as the ending goes, I will spare you from spoilers. But since many great aspects of the film have been usurped by the divisive debate over the twist ending in online discussion, it deserves to be addressed. In my opinion, the ending is highly original and utterly on-point for the overall thesis statement of this film (just watch it and see for yourself!) I promise you’ll be laughing at it long after the credits roll.

TLDR: Beyond the Gen Z commentary that is hilarious in its own right, Bodies Bodies Bodies is a fresh spin on the murder mystery trope and entertaining across the board thanks to the darkly comedic moments skillfully delivered by the actors. The cherry on top is the unapologetically Gen Z soundtrack that is admittedly as fun as it is satirical. Don’t let the trailer misguide you, this whodunnit horror comedy deserves a watch.

Bodies Bodies Bodies
The twist ending is memorable and utterly on-point
Standout performance by Rachel Sennott (so. many. quotes.)
The central couple are queer women (flawed or not, we're here for the representation)
Pete Davidson is funny as always (albeit, his character is extremely unlikable)
Great musical score by Disasterpiece (the composers behind the scores from It Follows)
Pete Davidson's character is inclined to get under people's skin (he is a little too good at playing the epitome of the insecure, toxic white male)