A24’s horror reign in 2022 has been one of the few pleasant surprises this year has to offer. From the newfound Ti West trilogy surrounding the movie ‘X‘ with the prequel ‘Pearl‘ out now in theatres and the sequel ‘MaXXXine‘ in theatres sometime in the near future to even new and original stories in movies like ‘Men’ and ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’. What surprised me the most about the latter is that our cinema actually got it. What is surprising about that is that in the small island of Malta, A24 movies are a rarity in cinemas. The ones we’ve gotten recently are ‘Hereditary’, ‘Climax’, ‘Midsommar’, ‘Minari’ and ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’. With the exception of two of those movies, the ones we got were high-quality blockbusters (obviously that’s selling them short but they are some of the more expensive A24 releases). With ‘Bodies x3‘ I was under the impression that it would be this cleverly written Gen-Z murder mystery slasher and to a certain point, it is. The twist at the end along with how this movie was marketed, it leads you to expect one movie and it delivers another which is obviously not a bad thing but sitting in that dead audience, I could simply feel the disappointment, it was palpable. Coming out of it, I won’t lie that experience did affect my thoughts about the movie but after sitting with it and rewatching, it really clicked for me.
spoilers for ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ are featured in this review.
To be completely honest, I went into this movie with certain expectations which I admit wasn’t the smartest thing to do because if the movie doesn’t live up to the movie in your head, disappointment is inevitable. Sadly that was sort of the case here. I say sort of because while I definitely wasn’t disappointed with ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’, I found myself wanting conflicted on what the movie was trying to do. I didn’t know how to feel about the Gen Z satire and that mostly has to do with my theatre experience. When I tell you that audience was more dead than the actual dead characters in the movie, I wouldn’t be exaggerating. At first glance, the satire might seem typical, we depend too much on technology, we’re selfish and dumb and we’ll do anything for views and while all of that is in this movie, it doesn’t just laugh at Gen Z, it also crafts a brilliant script out of that mentality, obviously over-the-top because it’s a movie and not to mention these are rich, privileged twenty-somethings throwing a party, they’re not exactly the prime representation of an entire generation. That being said, I would definitely fall into the exact same situations had I been there and I applaud the movie for that.
The twist that there is actually no serial killer or murderer out to get them is actually genius when you think about it. At first, I wasn’t pleased, I’ll be honest, I basically wanted a ‘Scream‘ movie and I got the furthest thing from it but once I let this movie simmer, everything fell right into place. Again, had I been in their situation, I probably would’ve jumped to conclusions and assumed there is a killer out to get me rather than properly think about the situation. I mean if we want to talk about a generation that overthinks, Gen Z is the one and only. It’s also a nice reference, if you will, to ‘Scream‘ in the sense that they use their knowledge of movies to write the narrative around this situation that they nothing about. Only in this case, it’s not movies but more so the assumptions and preconceived identity they attached to strangers. The bit where Jordan tries to justify Greg dying by saying that he was the most likely killer out of all them because he was a veteran and he served in Afghanistan only for Alice to clarify that he was a Veterinarian’s assistant. That is gold, like that scene alone deserves all the awards.
The use of technology here was also very appropriate and well thought out. It wasn’t this anti-tech movie with this massive hatred for phones and the internet but it also didn’t shy away from how we, specifically Gen Z use technology. It is actually fucking hilarious that had David not filmed himself doing a dangerous stunt on TikTok and as a result, killing himself on accident, all of this would’ve been avoided. They could’ve slept the night away and woken up alive and well. It almost reminds me of ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ in the sense that you automatically put yourself in those characters’ shoes and think to yourself, “What would I do in that situation?”. What this movie does very well, however, is that it doesn’t critique their mindset per se, I feel like most people in that situation would fall to the same suspicion that a killer is out to get them. Assuming that Greg who wasn’t with them when this happened, was the killer wasn’t a bad thought, it’s how they went about it that was stupid. It’s a catastrophic chain of events, the worst-case scenario possible and it’s all because of miscommunication or acting irrationally. Putting a group of twenty-something in a situation like this would’ve been funny even if it was about millennials but the slightly unhinged nature of Gen Z just adds a nice flair to dark comedy, it just works.
Overall, ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ was definitely one of the more interesting movies of the year, it’s a super fun watch for Halloween if you haven’t seen it already and I highly suggest watching it with a group of friends, it’s the perfect type of movie for a sleepover or movie night. The acting is great, the use of phone flashlights is actually perfection, the soundtrack is great and overall it’s just a fun time.
‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ is still showing in select cinemas.