REVIEW: Nobody needs to see ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’

Not sure I would really classify this movie as a horror film. Although, the thought of watching it again is horrifying.

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” picks up with the character Bee (Maria Bakalova) accompanying her girlfriend Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) to a weekend get together. The event is taking place at the home of David (Pete Davidson), Sophia’s longtime friend.

Sophie’s arrival is a bit awkward, though, as she hasn’t seen David, or her other friends, in quite some time.To help lighten the mood, they decide to play a murder mystery game called “Bodies Bodies Bodies.” However, things take a drastic turn when someone actually ends up dead.

“Bodies” is a film that’s just over an hour and a half, but it felt like so much longer. It’s an excessively annoying experience with no value, which made it extraordinarily hard to not just walk out on.

Murder mysteries should be fun, a bit suspenseful and unravel in a satisfying way that allows the audience to play along. “Bodies” doesn’t quite go with this tried-and-true formula. Instead, the creative team behind “Bodies” decided to make each character as loathsome as possible and just yell at each other for 95 minutes about mostly petty bullshit.

It’s not entirely groundbreaking for characters to be a bit cutthroat in a whodunit story. However, until the real culprit is discovered, characters in these types of films are usually able to be somewhat cooperative, if not secretive, and attempt to keep a level head.

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Courtesy A24.

That’s not the case in “Bodies.” Rather, there’s a bunch of catfighting in nearly every damn scene. It makes one want to yell “shut up!” a few times throughout the whole thing.

Now, it’s understandable that director Halina Reijn and the writing team of Sarah DeLappe and Kristen Roupenian intended for the characters to be this aggressively hatable. That showing rich spoiled 20-somethings obsessed with status and social media at their worst and getting essentially punished for it is the point of the film.

This aspect requires push back. First of all, the script is entirely unconvincing. The movie is overloaded with buzzwords and ridiculous dialogue. None of the characters truly feel real, coming across like Gen Z caricatures instead, so there’s nothing to get all that invested in at any point in the picture.

The writing here is honestly not that much better than what was in the awful “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” film from earlier this year that tried to do the same with Gen Z. That’s not to say a film shouldn’t have modern or topical language for its characters, but it has to be more convincing. “Midsommar” from 2019, for example, did a much better job.

Second of all, if you’re going to have characters who are so thoroughly annoying, than you better have the kills be onscreen. Characters an audience are meant to dislike are not new to horror films, but usually that leads up to them getting a creative slasher death. The kills in “Bodies,” though, are either off screen or not even that memorable.

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The only character who a viewer can be neutral with in “Bodies” is Bee, but honestly, she doesn’t really add much. These types of characters, the new person being brought to an established friend group, can work quite well in films.

Some great examples are David Cross’ character in the 2012 black comedy “It’s a Disaster,” Sharni Vinson’s survivalist character in the 2011 slasher “You’re Next” and Samara Weaving’s bride on the run character in 2019’s horror “Ready or Not.” Each of these characters brought some personality to the table and were often a focal character for the audience to identify with.

That’s not really the case with Bee. Despite the film following her more so than some of the others, she is basically a blank slate that injects no energy..

A viewer can’t even enjoy “Bodies” for the thrills, either, because it’s empty in that department. There’s little to no suspense at all. One doesn’t care about the characters, so it’s not like a viewer fears for their safety, and after a while it becomes clear that there’s going to be no entertaining kills or frightening moments, so why would a person be on the edge of their seat?

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” is listed as a comedy, thriller and horror on the Internet Movie Database. The truth is, it’s annoying, not funny. It’s boring, not thrilling. And, there’s no horror to be found. It should also be noted that the movie basically gives the audience a big middle finger at the very end. So here’s me giving the middle finger right back. 0.5 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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