The Stream: Not at all scary for a horror movie, especially an alleged “slasher” flick, and annoying characters
The Big Screen: Clever social commentary and at least one big laugh
The Final Bill: Does not deliver on the promise of a smart, funny and scary horror/comedy, but it is frequently entertaining– Trip Fontaine
Director: Halina Reijn
Writers: Sarah DeLappe (screenplay by) and Kristen Roupenian (story by)
Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott, Chase Sui Wonders, Pete Davidson, Myha’la Herrold, Lee Pace
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Thriller
Rating: R for violence, bloody images, drug use, sexual references and pervasive language.
Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes
Production Companies: 2AM, A24
Platform: In theaters August 5, 2022
Notable Trailers: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Invitation, Don’t Worry Darling, Bros, Pearl
Do you need a quick diversion at the movies, Streamers? Maybe a 90-minute afternoon jolt to propel you into the sweltering summer night? Well, there aren’t really many new releases at theaters in mid-August. However, I caught up with the much-anticipated horror, comedy starring Pete Davidson, Bodies Bodies Bodies. Who doesn’t want to see a house party, slasher flick populated by self-absorbed Gen-Zers go off the rails? Here’s whether when the bodies hit the floor I was terrified or amused.
Bodies Bodies Bodies, directed by Halina Reijn, takes place during a house party at a mansion in the middle of a hurricane. A group of friends have decided to get together for a hurricane party at one of their families’ swanky homes. It’s David’s (Davidson) parent’s home. He is a nebbish, insecure, jerky man-child dating Emma (Chase Sui Wonders). Emma is an aspiring actress of questionable talent. David’s best friend, Sophie (Stenberg), shows up out of nowhere with her new girlfriend, Bee (Bakalova), to partake in the festivities. There are also three other attendees played by Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace and Myha’la Herrold. There’s palpable tension between the group and Sophie, but we aren’t sure why at first. Nevertheless, as the storm bares down, the friends decide to play Bodies Bodies Bodies, which is a game, where one person is a killer and the others have to figure out whodunnit like that party game Mafia. Things predictably go haywire and bodies start to fall dead. Hilarity and death ensue.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is an enjoyable movie for the most part, but it does not live up to its promise. I thought I was getting a funny slasher flick, but the comedy and the horror were both lacking. Yes, there were tense and some scary moments, but not nearly enough to justify this movie being called a horror film. One death is pretty gruesome and comes out of nowhere, but I was expecting more. It didn’t really feel that dangerous either – I guess that’s because the characters are so annoying – I didn’t care if they got killed. On the other side, the comedy was also pretty weak. The screenplay by Sarah DeLappe relies on a lot of Gen-Z-speak. Yes, some of the lines are funny and clever, but the satire is very “on the nose” and not that insightful. It is a nice examination of friendships of 20-somethings and that particular sense of self-absorption that permeates those relationships. That notion does work well with the lurking killer(s) in the house, I guess. While I can’t say it all works together, I can say that it held my attention and it has such a shocking and hilarious resolution. It’s almost worth seeing just for that.
Ultimately, Bodies Bodies Bodies has an interesting conceit but annoying characters. Although there are a few tense moments, the movie does not reach the level you would expect for something billed as horror. The comedy is also limited except for one outstanding and pivotal moment. Nevertheless, it is a good diversion for about 90 minutes, and so grab a bowl of popcorn for matinee trip to the theaters.
Side note: Bodies Bodies Bodies would probably be a fun watch with a group of friends at home around midnight.