It seems that 2022 promises to be the year of deconstructed slasher: “Scream” was released in theaters in January, and now “Body of the Body” A24 is coming out at the end of the summer. Horror fans should consider themselves lucky that they have the opportunity to see this clever, satirical and intense horror comedy.
Shot by Galina Rein from a screenplay by Sarah DeLapp, based on a story by Kristen Rupenian (known as “Cat Man”), “Bodies, Bodies, Bodies” never holds back from what she wants to say, but, unlike other satirical films, never lets her comments overtake the story, instead deftly weaving it into a narrative that builds its mystery throughout the film.
Bodies of Bodies of Bodies find Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) heading to a meeting with old friends. Her new friend Bee is going with her (Maria Bakalova from Borat: The Follow-up Film and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 3). Bee stands out in a group of young, experienced friends of Sophie from high society. These include resentful David (Pete Davidson), enthusiastic podcaster Alice (Rachel Sennott from Shiva Baby) and her date with Tinder Greg (Lee Pace), emotional actress Emma (Chase Sui Wonders) and skeptical and uncompromising Jordan. (Michala Herrold).
The friends plan to wait out the hurricane at David’s parents’ mansion with lots of loud music, dancing, glow sticks and a healthy (or unhealthy) amount of alcohol and drugs. Sophie suggests that the gang play the title game, a kind of party prank in which one person is the “killer”, and when someone is “killed”, the rest must determine who the killer is. Of course, everything becomes too real too quickly, and friends are stuck in a huge house with no electricity, no cellular connection, a storm is raging outside, and a dead body is lying on the porch.
One of the most refreshing parts of Bodies Bodies Bodies is that it draws more inspiration from Agatha Christie than from something like Halloween or Scream. Despite the perfect slasher, the film is more like a classic murder mystery story, complete with a huge estate and a shrinking set of characters. Accusations are being made, and an uneasy trust is being built between people who would otherwise completely ignore each other. There is even a missing friend who is often mentioned but never seen by other characters. The mysterious Max killer or just a distraction?
Rain’s direction deftly captures the course of events, with constant camerawork and bright lights highlighting the early hours of the encounter before playing with suffocating darkness and additional hand shots to heighten the confusion and horror the characters experience as the night goes on. . When the electricity is turned off in the house, there are many opportunities for creative lighting with the help of glow sticks, emergency lighting and, in one case, a light therapy mask.
Even though he has a lot of visual weight, the real strength of Bodies Bodies Bodies lies in his characters and their relationships with each other, which are clearly defined from their first scene. Despite the mostly friendly nature of everyone in the house (with the exception of the confrontational and aggressive Jordan), there are obvious cracks in this group of friends that slowly tease over the course of the film, with little exchanges and conversations hinting at their edges. As an outsider, Bee bears the brunt of awkward social interactions, forced to behave well with people who don’t really understand why she’s here. This social tension is then put to the test when blood begins to be shed during the night.
In Bodies Bodies Bodies manages to combine elements of horror with comedy much easier than in other films. Many of the funniest moments are found in characters using what could be called typical millennial speech, a kind of language that tries to turn real emotional problems into buzzwords ready for tweets (the term “gaslighting” is mentioned by David at the very beginning). , although in the context of the scene he is on the verge of gaslighting the whole group of friends). Some of these dialogues may seem too obvious in DeLappe’s script, more like comments than actual conversations between the characters, but the dialogues remain sharp and caustic throughout the film. This is especially true of how friends prefer to cut each other down with increasingly personal attacks that betray their seemingly progressive attitude towards social class, addiction and mental health.
However, at its core, “Bodies, Bodies, Bodies” is a film about friendship and how fragile it can sometimes be. The whole plot is based on the idea that sometimes people are friends with someone just because they are already friends with him. It’s a bit of a confusing chicken egg idea, but the movie makes it clear that the characters only stayed friends because at some point they found each other tolerant enough to spend time with them.