Fuelled by cocaine, comedy and a Charli XCX soundtrack, Bodies Bodies Bodies makes an unlikely slasher. As a strange trail of mystery killings unravels one by one at a “hurricane party” in a mansion, a friendship group must figure out who is the murderer before they are next. In its remote, American environment, it feels reminiscent of Knives Out yet its portrayal of the murderous nature of female friendships is more Jennifer’s Body.
The film invigorates the haunted house typical of the horror genre by filling it with upper-crust kids of America’s gen-z generation. Cliché as the rich kid characters could have been, they are impressively nuanced as their characteristics are so sharply drawn from today: they love TikTok, star signs, podcasts, downplaying their parents’ wealth and, of course, gossiping about each other.
Throughout the film, the action that unfolds rests on the testing of how intense these lifelong friendship bonds really are. What is crucial to their falling out is that none of them can use their phones as the storm destroys phone service and Wi-Fi. All the twentysomethings, as well as one out of place fortysomething boyfriend, are clueless as to how to behave with each other without their phones to communicate or to Google solutions to their problems.
As they navigate the dizzyingly large house in the dark after the power goes out, the friends both cling to each other and cannot stand each other. It is a comically accurate portrayal of the growing pains childhood friendships face when ageing into your twenties, with a murder thrown in the mix, naturally.
This A24 black comedy sees an unlikely blend of cast members playing the said friendship group. It features Amandla Stenberg who you might remember as Rue from The Hunger Games, Pete Davidson, known for SNL and being ex-boyfriend to many famous women, and Maria Bakalova, the breakout star of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Despite this star-studded cast, it is Rachel Sennott who outshines the rest with her glowstick-adorned character, Alice. Having broken ground with the indie hit Shiva Baby and an upcoming role in Sam Levinson’s (Euphoria) new show, The Idol, Sennott is no doubt solidifying her reputation and repertoire with her great performance in Bodies Bodies Bodies.
Though a comedy film, these comedic moments are entirely reliant on Sennott, who when not present in the scene, the humour often falls short. Alice’s inability to adult and amusingly inappropriate reactions to violence epitomise the vapid gen-z stereotype in a humorous way without coming across as preachy. This is an awe-inspiring feat for Sennott considering her comedic dalliance even outshines co-star comedian and SNL alumni, Pete Davidson.
Though the comedy at times falls short, the ending certainly does not. When the morning light finally rises and the few left standing are finally able to uncover why this absurd string of murders even began, you will be left shocked, and amused, as well as considering how strong your friendships really are.
Image ‘Amandla Stenberg at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con International‘ by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.