August 15, 2022

GENRE | Let the 'Bodies Bodies Bodies' Hit the Floor

"You're always gaslighting me!"
Amandla Stenberg Maria Bakalova Chase Sui Wonders Halina Reijn | Bodies Bodies Bodies A24
Stage 6 Films / A24
Dutch actress turned filmmaker Halina Reijn savages today's toxic contemporary discourse in a horror movie form of performative political arguments in the faux-woke slasher comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies. In it, the film blisteringly satirizes Gen Z's cultural anxieties with a high body count influenced by online video trends.

A fine crop of young actresses on the rise, Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha'la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, and Rachel Sennott, star as a young and mostly rich fivesome holed up in a secluded mansion waiting out a hurricane while playing the renamed party game (better known as Werewolf or Mafia). Everyone plays into different archetypes exploring race, class, sexuality, and forces identity politics into each others' suspicions about possible killer motives.

Lee Pace and Pete Davidson co-star as the male counterparts to the group who both riff on different variations of toxic dirtbag boyfriend stereotypes. Sennott and Davidson stand out, in particular, as fun takes on unabashedly awful young white people revelling in their own narcissistic glee through an amusing self-mocking tone.

Scripted by Sarah DeLappe and based on a story by viral "Cat Story" author Kristen Roupenian, the freewheeling one crazy night movie captures contemporary culture's sense of irony by introducing each character's various annoying personality traits right off the bat. A particularly searing argument near the end of the film where various characters accuse each other of being the murderer is an inspired take on micro-aggressions and circular (online) political arguments dramatized in reality with a killer on the loose.

Bodies Bodies Bodies is a fatalistic fever dream of nightmarish Zillennial panic using current TikTok-influenced touchstones to lampoon performative woke topics like fragile white feminism and privilege through cleverly executed slasher movie genre techniques. Its observational humour about class and gender is only further heightened by its entertaining horror thrills.

More | YVArcade / Indiewire / Slashfilm

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