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`Bodies Bodies Bodies` review: A fitfully intriguing slasher-black comedy mix

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Film: Bodies Bodies Bodies
Cast: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott
Director: Halina Reijn
Rating: * * ½
Runtime: 94 min

A fresh, interesting set-up for a slasher onrush, this film is about a group of rich 20-somethings planning a hurricane party at a remote family mansion but … will they live long enough to rue that impulsive devil may-care idea?

The narrative has a fair bit of comedy before it turns slasher happy with backstabbing, fake friends, and a party gone horribly wrong.

Nervous about meeting the snooty, wealthy friends of her just-out-of-rehab girlfriend Sophie (Amandla Stenberg), timid Bee (Maria Bakalova) is the last to arrive at the booze-addled, drug-fuelled hurricane party at David`s (Pete Davidson) palatial grey-stone manor house. The other guests include Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), David’s actress girlfriend Jordan (Myha’la Herrold), whacky podcaster Alice (Rachel Sennott), and Alice’s much older boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace). As the storm rages outside, the party gets started with the motley group indulging in a game of pretend murder…but some end up as real dead bodies instead.

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The narrative opens with a deep kiss between Sophie and Bee – establishing their connectedness and then moving forward into party mode. The treatment is not typically slasher-horror. It’s also a black comedy of sorts. The mild scares, tension, and action deem it a rather nondescript slasher flick but it’s a deeper exploration of how people break down in a given situation fuelled by suspicion.

The script from playwright Sarah DeLappe and author Kristen Roupenian is very verbose so the visual action is rather limited in scope. The toxic and ominous atmosphere of mutual suspicion between this group of ‘supposed’ friends is exposed quite early on. Director Reijn makes good use of the single setting by swerving her camera around all corners and working up steam with close-ups highlighting emotion. The EDM-inspired score helps keep things amped up for a bit and the talented cast keeps the mystery going until the final resolution happens. Unfortunately the tone and tenor are not consistent enough to make this experience a thoroughly fulfilling one!

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