SXSW Review — “Bodies Bodies Bodies
RACHEL SENNOTT HIVE RISE
Bodies Bodies Bodies is directed by Halina Reijn, written by Sarah DeLappe, and stars Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson. It tells the story of a group of seven young friends having a house party at a remote mansion during a hurricane. The group decides to play “bodies bodies bodies”, a murder in-the-dark style game. The game goes poorly and they soon find a real murder has taken place. Making quite a splash at this year’s SXSW Festival, this comedic thriller was the talk of the town. With an all-star cast of rising comedy talent, the A24 backing, and a top spot at the fest, Bodies Bodies Bodies was quite the hot ticket item. Having seen it, I must say, the hype does confuse me. While there are a few, and I mean a few, incredibly sharp and hilarious segments and jokes, Bodies Bodies Bodies never really justifies its existence. Beyond a charming cast and unique comedic sensibility, this doesn’t offer much of anything to really grab onto.
Halina Reijn directs here and while she brings a strong tone and point of view to the film, Bodies Bodies Bodies devolves into scared Millenials walking around a dark house with their phones. Although there are one or two hilarious and incredibly spirited sequences where that tone and point of view are fully realized, it can’t really salvage it from becoming another formulaic low-budget horror film. The filmmaking is incredibly bare bones and there is little to no inspired camera work or visual storytelling. The cast does a great job for the most part, and Rachel Sennott shines once again. She is one of the most exciting rising stars working and I can’t wait to see what she does next. Pete Davidson adds a great deal of charm to the film, and Maria Bakalova is also a nice addition. Everyone is doing a good job and clearly giving it their all, it just doesn’t amount too much.
In short, Bodies Bodies Bodies has a few bright spots in an otherwise uninspired trip. 2/5