“Bodies Bodies Bodies”

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“Bodies Bodies Bodies” touches on the effects of being chronically online in a unique slasher delivery.

THEO ALDER

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” is a fun thriller that explores Generation Z as a whole and how being chronically online can hurt us as people. As a member of Gen Z, myself, this film does a wonderful job of pointing out the flaws of our generation, as well showing the funny sides. It should be noted that you should watch this film with extremely low expectations, then create your own opinion. 

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” is a modern thriller-slasher. It follows a group of friends getting together for a hurricane party. The group’s favorite game to play is called “bodies bodies bodies.” In simple terms, it’s like the game Among Us. There’s a killer, and once a body has been found, you yell “bodies!” Then, the group has to decide who the killer is. But this group plays mean, saying insulting things so someone will fess up. Because the tensions are high with insults, everyone is ready to fend for themselves. The stakes rise throughout the film after the power goes out and many other things (as I will try my best not to spoil). This film pulls from teen slashers of “Scream,” and who-done-it films like “Knives Out” and mixes them in a unique independent film. Set in one location, this film uses different rooms to upset the bore of a single location film. In my opinion films are not plays and should not be confined to a single place, or if it is a single place, they should use the space creatively and show new details, like in “The Breakfast Club” or “Rear Window.” The location of “Bodies Bodies Bodies” is in a mansion, but this location goes through a hurricane throughout the film to up the stakes. The set includes the exterior of the mansion, including a gate that locks the group inside when the power goes out.

It has a pool outside, along with its own personal gym where Greg (Lee Pace) goes to do his exercises in the film. The set design throughout is never boring, it’s a home with a lot of room, including a railing to push your friend off of (spoiler). 

The cinematography of the film is done very well. It feels like you’re in the moment with all the characters, with close-ups, one- take pacing and handheld footage. The score of this film is also really well done because it fits the menacing tone of the film. The soundtrack also has good music that fits with Gen Z. The sound work is wonderful–no complaints about bad sound. The special effects and makeup crew did such a great job within this film. Every wound looks wonderful, just the right amount of blood. It’s not a Tarantino film; it’s a tad more conservative with its blood usage. This film also does a great job of creating many Chekhov’s guns. As defined by master class and studio binder, 

“Chekhov’s gun is a dramatic principle that suggests that details within a story or play will contribute to the overall narrative… ‘If in Act One you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last Act.’” There are a lot of set up and call back moments 

throughout the film, and even a weapon that acts as Chekhov’s gun. 

On to the cast–and I know everyone wants to know, does Pete Davidson know how to act? The answer is no, my guess is that the writers accomodated for Davidison’s personality. His work on Saturday Night Live and a couple other movies (including this one) fit this description. He is simply acting to have a good time and try out new things. This film was something new for Davidson, working with A24 as opposed to a bigger more established studio like Amazon or NBC. He also had to have all the tattoos on his upper body completely covered in makeup, having to withstand many takes within a pool as well. I liked him in this film, and he’s a good draw for Gen Z. Moving on to Amandla Stenberg, she’s great in this. Stenberg is known for her roles in “The Hunger Games,” “The Hate You Give,” and “Everything Everything.” Stenberg plays Sophie, a lesbian who has just been released from rehab. Not only does she struggle with addiction, temptation, withdrawals and being manipulated and being manipulative; her character carries the film, because we’re not sure if we should be rooting for her or 

hating her. Maria Bakalova plays Bee, Sophie’s new girlfriend. Bee has been brought to this house party to meet all of Sophie’s new friends. Bee has a great character arc throughout the film–this is a character throughout the film you root for the most. She is also the character we spend the most time with throughout the film, so we bond with her as a result of experiencing all the horrors first hand. One last cast member I’ll discuss is Rachel Sennett, who plays Alice. Alice has brought a 40-year-old man that she met on Tinder, and she also has a podcast that is very important to her. Sennett is one of my personal favorites because of her work in “Shiva Baby.” Alice is obsessed with zodiac signs and doing coke with Davidson’s character, David. Other notable cast members are Lee Pace from “The Hobbit” and “Guardians of The Galaxy.” He plays Greg, Alice’s 40-year-old plus one. Chase Sui Wonders plays Emma, an actress who can fake cry on command. Emma and David are in a relationship together, but friction happens when the group plays the game “bodies bodies bodies.” Myha’la Herrold plays Jordan, described as “a spreadsheet with a superiority complex,” because she “schedules sex in her Google Calendar because she has no soul.” Jordan’s 

character is so fun to have in scenes. Herrold knows how to play off of other actors’ emotions. Jordan also loves to “hate-listen” to Alice’s podcast. And how do I remember all of these silly one-liners? Because the film does a great job of getting you invested in the drama. 

The film has a lot of critiques on Gen Z as well. It speaks on how we can be constantly glued to our phones. Though definitely an exaggeration, phones are the guiding force behind this film. Phones are used as flashlights and illuminate darker scenes. Phones are used to blackmail and question others as well used to film TikToks on. Even after the first scene of a passionate make-out scene and a confession of love between Sophie and Bee, they hop right on their phones after. But this film also critiques chronically  online behavior. According to CNET, “chronically online describes those who spend so much time online it skews their sense of reality and hinders their ability to effectively communicate about topics like politics or social justice because they lack real-world experience.”  “Bodies Bodies Bodies” touches on this in a unique way–with Alice being so self-absorbed in creating the perfect podcast and having the right guests on her show, she can sound really tone-deaf. She also states that she’s never told anyone that she’s had an eating disorder, as if that is unique to her and her alone. Because she is so invested in her podcast and such, she neglects real-world issues and becomes blind to them. Many of the characters in this film are self-absorbed because they are chronically online, only interacting with content they want and like and creating a lonely relationship with the internet. Because these characters are so isolated, their interactions with each other can sound like a comment section on a TikTok video. It’s very entertaining but there isn’t much under the surface. A prime example of this is shown in one of the reasons Alice trusts Greg–because he is a Pisces moon. It’s snappy dialogue that anyone who has been on prominent social media  platforms can recognize.

This film is an easy viewing experience that gets you invested in the drama. If you can check it out it’s worth a watch, but it’d be best to watch on streaming in case this isn’t your cup of tea.