With this film centred around a group of Gen-Z friends playing a rendition of murder in the dark, I for one am shocked that there was not one Among Us reference, pretty sus. Bodies Bodies Bodies advertised itself as a slasher, and I was under the impression that it was, but it plays out more like a horror black comedy sprinkled with extra narcissism. On the surface, this film looks pretty simple, a funny whodunit with a crack at Gen-Z. But even though Bodies Bodies Bodies satirises its own audience brutally, I don’t think people of that generation would mind as this film is genuinely funny and it’s taken on its own narrative format feels very fresh.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is not a satirical look at a demographic, it is assassinating them. The group of “friends” that take centre stage in this story of murder in the dark taken too far are annoying, but there are purposefully annoying. The way I look at it is to imagine being a teenager during the 1980s when slashers were in their golden age. Younger audiences would go wild for those films and adults would rant about how stupid “kids are these days”, now the younger audiences are adults and look at the new youth in horror thinking the same thing. It is an interesting way to look at it, but unlike back in the 80s, the annoying personalities of the characters don’t create an annoying viewing experience. The filmmakers have found a good middle ground that has a good balance of mocking and respect.
In this painting of a generational picture, at least the writers understand how to write appropriate dialogue. A lot of critics are talking about how the script’s dialogue has many inclusions of Twitter buzzwords included in conversations, but I’d like to applaud the performances of the actors who deliver the dialogue with correct mannerisms. Although director Halina Rejin and other filmmakers involved may not be of Gen-Z, casting actors of that generation adds a lot of naturalism to performance and dialogue delivery.
Let’s shift focus onto the actors themselves, the two we spend the most time with are Maria Bakalova and Amandla Stenberg as same-sex couple Bee and Sophie. Coming from a working-class East Europe background, Bee is the fish out of water character here, she is timid to the wealth the others delight in. Maria Bakalova does a superb job with Bee, although not her bravest performance (see Borat 2 for details), she is the one you warm up to the most.
It’s not just believable characters that make this film compelling, the whodunit mystery component keeps you guessing as any good whodunit should. There have been many different ways this has been achieved in similar past films, in Bodies Bodies Bodies, I believe a big reason for this is the brittle friendship the characters have with each other. Although they act and talk to each other like inseparable friends, there is a lot of tension within the group and once the murders begin, the friendship becomes one big slagging match with insults and attacks on their character getting more and more aggressive.
Even though the characters are insufferable on purpose, this still won’t stop some audiences to still despise them by the end of the film. I think this is an unavoidable risk if you are writing characters that are supposed to get on your nerves. As the old saying goes “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and I can see very conflicting opinions about most aspects of Bodies Bodies Bodies.
Some of the scenes, especially ones that are heavy with narcissistic comedy, do fall under the unfortunate habit of dragging on too much. The film’s balance of horror and comedy isn’t exactly great, but it’s not terrible either. However instead of having that good balance of horror and comedy, one has to, unfortunately, dominate the other. I just think that when it comes to unravelling more about the characters, which is done through exposing them through insults, the horror element doesn’t linger. It doesn’t quite build up the tension as well as it could do and has seen it do in other scenes.
Honestly though, Bodies Bodies Bodies is out to satirise an entire generation, and the direction and performances of the actors help make this film a brutal satirical look at its own audience, but at the same time, welcomes them into a story that twists and turns like any good mystery. It may have annoying characters, but that is the point, it’s the entire driving force of the plot. Once you understand that, the fun Bodies Bodies Bodies has will massively amplify.
Final Result: 7/10 – Good
Have you seen Bodies Bodies Bodies? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
Next Time: Clerks III