The Reel Review

D+

A party game turns deadly for a group of rich twentysomethings riding out a hurricane at an isolated estate, in this A24 horror/comedy. The party game is based on the popular improv game, Body Body (or Murder in the Dark), where players lurk and hide with the lights off while the murderer tries to “kill” all of them by tapping them on the back.

Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Pete Davidson and Rachel Sennott in Bodies Bodies Bodies.

Boasting a cast that includes Amandla Stenberg (Dear Evan Hansen), Saturday Night Live alum Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island) and Oscar nominee Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Dutch actress Halina Reijn (Valkyrie, Black Book) directs what is intended to be a funny yet scathing indictment on the vacuousness of young people. Most of the characters are bored, brainless, and coked out – more concerned with petty grievances and policing one another’s behavior than finding out who is killing them.

Rachel Sennott, Chase Sui Wonders, Maria Bakalova and Amandla Stenberg in Bodies Bodies Bodies.

But other than a few chuckles – almost all from Shiva Baby’s Rachel Sennott as the oversharing, bubble-headed podcaster, Alice – there isn’t much to laugh about, much less like about Bodies Bodies Bodies. The characters are detestable, the kills disappointedly uninspired and the limp story is stupid to the point of pointlessness. Like the subject it tries to satirize, the film itself is unremarkable.

REEL FACTS

Carice von Houton and Halina Reijn founded the Man Up production company in 2019.

• Halina Reijn directed longtime friend Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones, Black Book) in the 2019 thriller Instinct, about a psychologist infatuated with a sex offender she is treating in prison. Instinct was Netherlands’ 2019 Oscar submission for Best International Feature Film.

• Maria Bakalova is the first Bulgarian actress to receive Oscar, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild nominations for her role as Borat’s daughter in the mockumentary Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. She will voice Cosmo the Spacedog in 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

• Later in 2022, Rachel Sennott will appear in the A24-produced HBO series The Idol. Directed by co-creator Sam Levinson (Euphoria), it is about a cult leader who enters into a complicated relationship with a rising pop idol.

 

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