A Gen Z murder mystery with a killer soundtrack and surprising body count courtesy of director Halina Reijn in her first English film. The Sony/A24 film starts out strong with twists of both the plot and knife that will keep you guessing as it sails through the first forty minutes before coming slightly undone in the middle and delivering a final act that saves the film. A stellar cast delivers outstanding performances, and it never truly gives you any hints as to who the murderer is.
The story takes place in a secluded house with a hurricane headed their way; David (Pete Davidson) invites his friends, including recovering addict Sophie (Amanda Stenberg), who brings her new girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova) to meet her friends, who she hasn’t seen since her last rehab stint. David’s girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders) and their podcasting friend Alice (Rachel Sennott), and a random middle-aged boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace). As the power goes out, they play a version of Murder in the Dark called Bodies Bodies Bodies and one by one, the group ends up dead; they must figure out who the culprit is before they all meet their fate.
The best part of the film is the complete satirical slant it takes on Gen Z. Constant lines of “You’re Toxic” and “Stop gaslighting me” are thrown around as much as possible and combined with Tik Tok videos and jokes about everyone having their own podcast sells the tone of the group of Gen Z-ers that exist in the world today. While it is less blatant than previous entries in this genre like Clueless or Mean Girls, it definitely keeps that vibe, and the incredibly talented young cast delivers some great performances, capturing every second of screen time they are given.
While the first forty minutes offer a great setup, and when things get moving, it’s odd that they come to an awkward standstill. The electricity flashes on and off, providing some light which can be confusing as the rooms and layout of the house are a bit of a rabbit warren and causes some confusion as to who is still alive and where they are. This also combines with a lot of discussion and arguments about who is friends with who, how much they trust each other, and the future of their relationships gets a little lost in translation, particularly when compared with the fast-paced first act of the film. For a film that is based around a game called Bodies Bodies Bodies, the cast only plays the game once, which seems like an odd choice.
Things get better in the final act as the shocking reveal will send waves through the cinema, and it is best to see this with a large crowd in a packed cinema. It’s hard to laugh at the ending, which kind of is the point of the story.
Despite its flaws, this is destined to become a cult classic for this current generation. The music, actors, and humour accurately capture this exact moment in time. The film does beg for repeat viewings to capture moments that will easily be missed due to laughter. Bodies Bodies Bodies is a campy murder mystery riot you will want to see at the cinema with as many friends as possible.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is in cinemas September 15.
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