Friday, April 19, 2024

Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

Streaming Service: Netflix 
Movie Name/Year: Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Thriller
Length:  1h 34min
Rating: R
Director: Halina Reijn
Writers: Sarah DeLappe, Kristen Roupenian
Actors: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha'la, Rachel Sennott, Chase Sui Wonders, Pete Davidson, Lee Pace, Conner O'Malley
IMDb Blurb: When a group of rich 20-somethings plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game turns deadly in this fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends, and one party gone very, very wrong.
Cat’s Point of View:
Bodies Bodies Bodies had an intriguing trailer. I was pulled in right away and it promised to give a decidedly Gen-Zish spin on horror-comedy. Selina was also thinking along the same lines, as she said the following within her #8 listing of Bodies Bodies Bodies on August 2022's Top 20 article:

“The whole flick feels very elder-gen-Z, and I do not hate that idea. The trailer looks funny, of our time, and brutal. It’s exactly what I would want from a horror-comedy.”

As an aside, it was my own #13 pick, and I couldn't wait to watch.

We were both also interested in this movie based on casting, as well. While Selina is more of a Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island, Good Mourning, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts) fan than I am, I was intrigued as to how Lee Pace's (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Guardians of the Galaxy, Halt and Catch Fire) character fit in with this younger crowd. 

Amandla Stenberg (The Darkest Minds, Dear Evan Hansen, Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse) and Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Bubble, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3) were also relatively known variables going into this film and didn't disappoint. Even though I wasn't as familiar with Myha'la (Industry, Black Mirror, Leave the World Behind), Rachel Sennott (Call Your Mother, Bottoms, I Used to be Funny), and Chase Sui Wonders (Wake, Out of the Blue, City on Fire) at the time, it didn't matter for this production. They caught my attention with Bodies Bodies Bodies as they inhabited these roles of privileged youth within this story so well. Saying that out loud doesn't exactly seem to translate as a compliment, given the personalities of some of these characters on-screen, but it is what it is – and, indeed, meant as a compliment. I digress...

If you were to ask me what Bodies Bodies Bodies was really about, I'd have to say it was something along the lines of a live-action version of “Among Us,” which is a who-done-it murder mystery multi-player video game that Selina and I very much enjoy. Of course, this game was played out with drugged up and intoxicated college-age young adults rather than a space crew fending off alien impostors through social deduction.

This all takes place during a hurricane party. For those that haven't heard of those before... it's a real thing that typically takes place in Florida or along the Gulf Coast when the incoming tropical weather isn't expected to be too strong – on the scale of massive tropical storms, that is. Category 1 you say? Batten down the hatches to minimize property damage but then pull out the booze. At least, that's generally how it goes. My immediate area within Louisiana is generally too land-locked to get storms of that intensity, and if we do it's generally after it's already decimated a huge swath of one or more states on the way to us, and we're busy with sand bags and hiding from twisters. Needless to say, I haven't personally partaken in such shenanigans, but I know some friends who have.

Storms have a way of amping up anxiety in already tense situations. When you add recreational drug use and alcohol to that mix and then layer on a game where everyone becomes the murder suspect – and wait, there's more – and THEN there's real death involved on top of that? It's a dangerous cocktail with side effects of paranoia, hasty decisions, and poor reasoning. What could go wrong, right?

I recently watched an interview with the director, Holland native Halina Reijn (Instinct, Red Light, For the Birds), and a good number of the cast where they revealed that while shooting this movie that takes place during a powerful storm, they had to take shelter in the basement due to a storm warning. I believe that it enhanced how the cast were able to respond to and vibe with that aspect of the setting very well.
Bodies Bodies Bodies had tension, comedy, and carnage that had me on the edge of my seat, even though most of the characters weren't very likable. There was so much face-palming on my part, too.

The ending left me speechless for a few moments. Everything I thought I'd figured out went completely out the window. This wasn't my first watch-through of Bodies Bodies Bodies, either. This second time around I watched with my daughter, who is only a few years off of the character's ages. It was fun to see her reaction to the twist, since I knew what was coming this time.

All told, Bodies Bodies Bodies was a solid comedy-horror offering that had many layers to it deeper than the surface mayhem surrounding young adults behaving badly while not mature enough to be left unsupervised. I wouldn't mind watching it again, if the mood struck and am not shy about giving it a recommendation.
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 69%
Metascore – 69%
Metacritic User Score – 5.7/10
IMDB Score – 6.2/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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