Rating: 3 / 5
Cast: Pete Davidson, Lee Pace, Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Chase Sui Wonders,
Director: Halina Reijn
Running Time: 94 mins
Review by: Alex Moss
Released: 28th November 2022
Format: DVD | Blu-ray | VOD
Thanks to Rian Johnson’s wonderful Knives Out – which itself gets a sequel later this year – whoddunit murder mysteries are en vogue right now. Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is very much in that mould, ticking all the key ingredients but doing so using a group of wealthy Generation Z.
As a hurricane draws in, a group of friends decide to come together to weather the storm. Amid booze and drugs it becomes clear they are all harbouring secrets and grudges of various forms despite how ‘close’ these friends seem. But things really kick-off when they decide to play a game of Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, in which one person is the killer and the rest of the players have to guess who before the next body shows up. Except, it seems the killer in this situation has taken things a little too literally and is killing people for real.
Part thriller, part horror and certainly all whodunnit, Bodie, Bodies, Bodies certainly does all the things you need it to. As the body count rises and the wind and rain outside grow stronger so the tension wracks up. Director Halina Reijin does a good job of building tension and utilises the darkened house to creepy effect. At times, unlike many films of this ilk, it feels like it wants to drop into the slasher genre. In the way the Scream films are often a ‘guess who’s the killer’ so Bodies nearly fits into that category. It pulls up just shy of this, fully aware that going full Scream ahead would allow us to guess who the killer is.
Crucially, as is often the case in this genre, all the characters are quite unlikable. But in many ways this is where Bodies misses a trick. This is a group of social media savvy, back-stabbing spoilt brats that you could have endlessly, smart, self-referential fun with. It wants to be a comedy but it never quite makes you laugh. Whereas Scream is endlessly meta of the genre Bodies is perhaps conforming a little too much.
However, and to say too much would be to spoil it, the end is smile inducingly solid. The big reveal feels fresh in a way that could only really work with this group of characters. In fact so satisfying is the ending it would inspire a second viewing to see if there are any cracks in the mystery.
A very solid murder mystery that does just about what you need it to, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is fun but leaves you feeling like it hasn’t quite lived up to the high expectations it sets for itself.
Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD.