Bodies Bodies Bodies, directed by Halina Reijn and written by Sarah DeLappe, from Kristen Roupenian’s story, follows Bee (Maria Bakalova) and her girlfriend, Sophie (Amandla Stenberg), as they head to a “hurricane party.” The two haven’t been dating for long, so Bee is new to the entire friend dynamic. Unfortunately, things are tense as Sophie’s ex Jordan (Myha’la Herrold), best friend David (Pete Davidson), and his significant other Emma (Chase Sui Wonders) are not thrilled to see her.
Aspiring podcaster Alice (Rachel Sennott) and her older partner Greg (Lee Pace) are, but that doesn’t smooth things over with everyone. Still, in the interest of burying the hatchet, the group lets Bee and Sophie stay. After some partying and drinking, the friends decide to play Bodies Bodies Bodies, which is a variant of Werewolf. The next morning Bee finds David outside with his throat sliced open. This sends everyone into accusatory mode, with Greg being voted the most likely suspect.
“…Bee finds David outside with his throat sliced open.”
As the day wears on, the bodies pile up, and no one will care because the characters all have the emotional depth of a Capri Sun. The filmmaker is trying to comment upon how easily herd mentality can take hold, especially when one lives via social media. However, the execution is clumsy and the script sophomoric, so it never comes through properly.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is a comedy without a punchline and a horror film too afraid to show anything. Almost all of the kills happen off-screen by the unknown assailant(s). When Emma bites the dust, Bee again stumbles into the slightly bloody aftermath. And this death, the third in the movie, makes little sense in how it fuels further speculation about who the killer is. The finale shows why the choice to leave things unseen was made, but it is more obnoxious than anything. The only reason these deaths wouldn’t be shown is so obvious that it destroys any tension. This makes the entire affair tediously predictable (I guessed the “who” just after Emma’s death) and renders the story moot.
When combined with the poor characterizations, it is hard to find a reason to invest in anything happening. Bee aside, no one’s motivations work, giving little reason for viewers to overlook the characters’ narcissistic tendencies. If this is intended to be a The Rules Of Attraction-style look at the lives of bored rich kids, DeLappe forgot some crucial elements which make that Roger Avary black comedy so poignant. James Van Der Beek’s Sean busts in on a tryst (which he helped stage), takes photos, then uses those as blackmail. Is that a selfish a*****e maneuver? Yes. But his motivations come from a genuine place, and all watching understand what he’s trying to do.
"…after my friend and I left the theater, we went for drinks to try and forget the previous 95 minutes."