This article contains spoilers for “Bodies Bodies Bodies.”
Agatha Christie meets Among Us in thriller-comedy “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” the latest of A24’s 2022 releases to hit the big screen over the summer. Directed by Dutch filmmaker Halina Reijn in her English-language debut, the film opens with twenty-something Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) bringing her new girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova) to a “hurricane party” hosted at the family mansion of her childhood friend David (Pete Davidson). The two are greeted by David’s girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders); Alice (Rachel Sennott) and her new, much older boyfriend sourced from Tinder, Greg (Lee Pace); and Jordan (Myha’la Herrold).
As the hurricane approaches the mansion, bringing stormy rain and thunder, the group decides to play Bodies Bodies Bodies, a game where one person is chosen to be the “murderer” and must “kill” the other players in the dark while the rest of the group tries to identify who the killer is. Greg is the first person “killed” in the game, with the group deciding to accuse David of being the murderer and voting him out of the game. In the middle of the next round, the power cuts out in the mansion and Sophie believes that David is playing a prank on the group. When David’s body is discovered outside, however, with his neck sliced open and bleeding, the group begins to cast suspicion on one another as they attempt to find out who killed him.
What follows is a thoroughly enjoyable cascade of more death and accusations of murder as more and more members of the group are found dead. As the size of the friend group dwindles, the film keeps its pace quick with sharp dialogue and entertaining performances. Among the talented and well-balanced cast, Sennott shines as Alice, a devoted podcast host who delivers lines like “He’s a Libra moon!” and “You’re silencing me!” with perfect conviction.
The movie’s script, written by Sarah DeLappe with the story by Kristen Roupenian, allows the actors to play off of one another in quick succession and hilariously highlights the self-obsessed nature of all of the wealthy characters. In one particularly memorable line, as Jordan protests that she isn’t as rich as the rest of the group, Alice tells her hauntingly, “Your parents are upper-middle class.” The cast’s charismatic performances add an unmistakably compelling side to these chronically online, generational wealth-holding young adults.
Filled with twists and surprisingly bloody violence, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” is a film that knows exactly how to keep viewers on the edge of their seats for the entirety of its 94-minute runtime. As each new murder is revealed, suspicion falls on every character, and the growing distrust within the group perfectly contrasts the building tension in their relationships. The group suspects Greg might be the murderer when Alice admits that she knows next to nothing about his personal life, while Jordan and Sophie’s romantic past casts a shadow on Bee’s perception of her girlfriend.
As the movie’s last scenes arrive, the two remaining living characters, Sophie and Bee, face off, having been pitted against each other by suspicions about Sophie cheating on Bee. The final twist of the film, however, interrupts this fight to reveal that David accidentally sliced his own throat after attempting to open a wine bottle with a sword for a TikTok, meaning there was no murderer to begin with. The reveal is the perfect ending to tie off the film’s satirical portrayal of rich young adults in the influencer age and ties off the group’s needless deaths in a darkly hilarious turn.
Apart from the cleverly constructed plot and snarky dialogue, the movie’s soundtrack is worth a listen, featuring songs like “Hot Girl” by Charli XCX and “212” by Azealia Banks featuring Lazy Jay. The instrumental music score, composed by Disasterpeace, is also reminiscent of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for “The Social Network” in its digital noise-inspired sound that keeps the pace of the film moving swiftly.
“Bodies Bodies Bodies” is also unabashedly queer, opening on a shot of Sophie and Bee making out before they travel to the mansion. The love triangles between the entire group spin out in all directions as old flames are brought under the spotlight and new romantic relationships are tested, adding another layer to the suspicions cast on different members of the friend group.
Though media centered on TikTok-obsessed, Twitter-loving youth has become more and more common, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” genuinely understands Gen Z. In making fun of today’s 20-somethings, this movie also speaks to that generation by showing that it recognizes who they are. Anyone up for a game of Bodies Bodies Bodies?
Jem Shin can be reached at email@example.com.