• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024


ByTaylor T Carlson

Aug 11, 2022

BODIES BODIES BODIES (hereafter simply referred to as “BODIES”) is directed by Halina Reijn. It stars Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson.

Timid working-class girl Bee goes with her ex-addict girlfriend Sophie for a party in a mansion during a hurricane, reuniting with many friends Sophie has been estranged from for years who doubt her sobriety and intentions. It isn’t long before a party game goes awry, and when one of the friends ends up dead, the group must discover who the real killer is before animosity and suspicions threaten to turn the group against one another.

It’s tough to review BODIES because it’s hard to lump the movie into any one category. Is it a slasher film? Is it a black comedy? Is it a satire on Gen Z lifestyles? I found myself torn with many aspects of this movie, and while I don’t think it’s one I’ll ever revisit, I won’t deny that I laughed pretty heavily during its duration of around an hour and a half. It’s cast well and has an intriguing premise, as funny as it is violent, though the choices of music are nauseating and it never quite goes as far as it should with its approach.

The theater in which I attended this screening was shared between press and AMC Stubs members, and glow sticks similar to the ones worn by the characters were distributed prior to the film beginning; that certainly made for an interesting movie viewing atmosphere! As I was leaving, two of my fellow critics had extremely mixed reactions that couldn’t be farther apart. One hated the music and found no redeeming characters, claiming he was waiting eagerly for them to die. Another declared it a masterpiece and a sharp satire. My own opinion probably falls somewhere in the middle, though I believe it deserves a modest recommendation. While it probably won’t light up the box office, it’s likely destined for cult classic status.

Where the movie best succeeds is in the characterization of its two leading ladies. Amandla Stenberg has come a long way from being the cute little girl who played Rue in THE HUNGER GAMES, expertly pulling off this role as a troubled lesbian who wants to enjoy life with her new girlfriend, that role portrayed by Maria Bakalova. She proves to be a brilliant foil to Stenberg’s sassy outspoken ex-addict, and the chemistry between the two makes them sympathetic and interesting. I gladly would’ve paid money to see a movie just revolving around their relationship that didn’t have all the killing and slasher elements; that would’ve been a great movie unto itself.

The rest of the cast portrays characters that are slightly less sympathetic. These stereotypical Gen Z types don’t always come off as likable, but despite it they’re hilarious. Each character has just enough traits to make them funny and interesting, summing up the worst of what the modern-day youth generation has to offer. These traits make it all the more comical and satisfying when they get their inevitable comeuppances. When the reveal that sets the events of the movie into motion finally occurs, it’s a bit of a shocker, but one that doesn’t feel out of place either, making it that much more satisfying and laugh-worthy.

Other aspects of the movie don’t fare quite as well. The biggest problem with BODIES is its nauseating soundtrack, filled with songs that quickly get old fast, and even a musical score with one motif that feels plagiarized from the HALLOWEEN film series; I kept half expecting Michael Myers to show up and reveal himself as the killer! It would’ve been more interesting if the characters had been made self-aware and delivered meta-style humor in the film, though we don’t quite get there.

BODIES is no masterpiece, but it’s still a violent good time with plenty of laughs thanks to its Gen Z cast and the chemistry of the two female leads. Modestly recommended.

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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