Summer blockbuster season is definitely over when this kind of horror/slasher trash worms its way into local theaters. The obnoxious, rich 20-somethings in Bodies, Bodies, Bodies don’t die soon enough for me.
Here’s the set-up: five longtime friends and their respective companions gather at a remote vacation house on the eve of a predicted hurricane.
The massive suburban mansion belongs to the parents of David (Pete Davidson), who brings his actress girl-friend, insecure Emma (Chase Sui Wonders); recovering addict Sophie (Amandla Stenberg), now sober, totes her new Slavic girlfriend, nervous, working-class Bee (Maria Bakalova).
Vapid podcast host Alice (Rachel Sennot) has her immature, 40 year-old lover, Greg (Lee Pace), whom she met on Tinder (“He’s a Libra moon!”), and – last but far from least – there’s perfectionist Jordan (Myha’la Herrold), Sophie’s competitive, judgmental ex.
After some pool pranks, including a breath-holding contest, they retreat inside, uncocking a bottle of champagne, downing tequila shots and snorting lines of cocaine.
Then they decide to play an improv game in which players ‘kill’ someone by touching them. Whomever discovers the ‘murder’ yells: “Bodies, Bodies, Bodies” – and everyone has to figure out who the ‘killer’ is. The chaotic shrieks and scares are supposed to be great fun until – one after another – various participants are brutally slaughtered. Whodunit? Who cares?
The original social satire idea came from Kristen Roupenian. But her original draft, which had everyone caught in a snowstorm, was discarded when Sarah DeLappe took over scripting, so now Roupenian only gets story credit.
Dutch actress Halina Reijn’s directing debut, Instinct (2019), was Netherlands’ Best International Film Oscar submission; it also reflected her passion for psychological character studies, particularly the concepts of narcissism and betrayal. Problem is: she stages it like a shoddy, humorless theatrical play, chronicled by cinematographer Jasper Wolf (Monos) , replete with iPhones and glow-sticks.
On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is a toxic 2, playing in theaters.