Bodies Bodies Bodies

Bodies Bodies Bodies ★★★★

A funny social-satire-whodunnit.

The film follows a group of young adults who throw a hurricane party at a mansion only for one of their own to mysteriously wind up dead.

Well, this is one of those movies that I meant to catch in theaters, but never got around to, and I'm glad to say I finally did. This movie is a damn good time, primarily due to the off-beat tone and style. The humor here I really thought would grate my nerves, but the screenwriters managed to make the dialogue feel real, and not like the "how do you do, fellow kids?" type of dialogue. Sure, these characters are not the most fleshed out for the bulk of the movie, and there are a couple of characters that can be pretty annoying (probably by design), but the script succeeded in frequently making me laugh and setting up a solid mystery (even if I guessed the turn of events fairly early on, though I never thought they would commit to what I had in mind).

Another strong point here is the cast. Maria Bakalova and Amandla Stenberg lead the cast as a couple that unexpectedly crash the hurricane party, and I really liked their chemistry. Bakalova has a very fish out of water feel to her character, as she's the only non-American and the only one who's not rich and I enjoyed seeing her try to navigate this new environment while also trying to help solve the murder. Everyone here is pretty solid, with everyone bringing some excellent comedic timing (Rachel Sennott, especially), but Bakalova continues to impress me anywhere I see her.

Still, many have called this a horror-comedy, and so in my mind the movie only succeed in half of that. It's funny, but never scary. I think there are a couple of sequences that do a decent job in creating tension, but it's usually only for a minute or two before returning to the more comedic aspects of the story. It doesn't balance both equally, and I think director Halina Reijn has a much firmer grasp on the social satire than she does on the horror or mystery elements. It's not poorly done, nor is it without its moments, it's just not as strong as I had hoped going in.

In the end, I wish I had caught this in theaters, but I'm glad I eventually got around to this. It's a solid satire with a pretty solid mystery at its core, just don't expect to be scared.

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