Here, though, that is hardly the case. Bee is compelling — an immigrant attending college and falling for her first real love. Too bad then that the bulk of her time at the mansion is her wandering around the unfamiliar abode (why did no one give her a tour of the place? This never comes up, though it’s a huge plot hole concerning some of the deaths), discovering dead folks. David is an idiot, Emma believes everyone wants to screw her, Alice only talks about her podcast, Sophie is a former addict, and Jordan is a liar. Those are the only traits of this tiresome group of millennial cliches. It is frustrating.
Of course, the jumbled editing and piss-poor lighting that make up the bulk of Bodies Bodies Bodies don’t help matters. During this ill-defined “hurricane party,” the power goes out, and in what seems like a smart move on paper, the lighting no2 comes from single sources such as phones, glow sticks, etc. The shoddy implementation makes a lot of scenes far too dark to make out properly. Alice is bespoke in glow lights, which is cool until she gets into it with a different character. Now, instead of seeing both of them, flashes of an arm or their face appear. It is not stylized enough to be visually impressive, coming off as an idiotic first-year film student’s idea of good lighting before they learn a darned thing.
“…Bakalova gives anyone foolish enough to watch this trainwreck a reason to make it to the end.”
Jasper Wolf’s cinematography is the weakest element among only weak elements. Most sequences, especially after the power outage, are shot so up close it is uncomfortable. This means that even when an action beat happens on screen, it’s hard to discern. Has Wolf ever heard of a medium shot? The awful editing and lousy shot composition combine to make one of the worst-looking pictures in recent history. It is shocking that, for a visual medium, the picture is this ugly and unpleasant to look at.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is not wholly devoid of any merit. It has two things that stand out. Davidson’s awkward energy and comedic timing bring the only laugh. However, he is widely overshadowed by Bakalova’s charming presence. She proves to be the real deal after taking the world by surprise in her brilliant turn in Borat 2. Here, her expressive eyes and understated demeanor work wonders. For all the awful present, Bakalova gives anyone foolish enough to watch this trainwreck a reason to make it to the end. Sadly, Reijn flounders with what to do with her most talented star, as Bakalova does not even get a bad joke to let fall flat. Not using Bakalova’s extensive comedic sensibilities in this “comedy” (used as loosely as possible) proves that the director had no vision or idea of what this was meant to be.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is such an abhorrent, frustrating, ugly experience that after my friend and I left the theater, we went for drinks to try and forget the previous 95 minutes. The movie is never funny, scary, spooky, or interesting. Bakalova and Davidson are trying their best but cannot buoy the picture. Badly lit, poorly shot, and sporting even worse dialogue, the film offers nothing to anyone, though it thinks it has something important to say. Pretentious and dull is the worst combination.
"…after my friend and I left the theater, we went for drinks to try and forget the previous 95 minutes."