Bodies Bodies Bodies Review

The rich, entitled, and woke characters in Halina Reijn’s Bodies Bodies Bodies don’t need to be likable and they certainly aren’t. They do need interesting dialogue and a compelling or frightening storyline to work with. That happens too rarely in this monotonous satiric slasher with its takedown of the elite class.

Drinking, pills, and hard drugs are on the menu at the mansion of David (Pete Davidson) as a hurricane is about to supply its own blow. Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) is a childhood friend with a similar silver spoon upbringing. She brings her Eastern European partner Bee (Maria Bakalova, recently an Oscar nominee for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) to the rainy day soiree. Others RSVP’d are David’s actress girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), podcaster Alice (Rachel Sennott) and her older beau Greg who’s also a vet (Lee Pace), and Jordan (Myha’la Herrold), who may share a romantic past with Sophie.

Previous substance abuse keeps Sophie from partaking in the fun but the others get their buzzkills when murders dampen the festivities. The first body pops up during the title game and more follow. As the count increases, we discover what the screenplay from Sarah DeLappe is really getting at. Even as lives are brutally lost, the partygoers manage to make the bloodshed somehow about them. You suspect that the suspects are mentally taking notes on how they’ll Instagram or Tik Tok the trauma. Let’s call it Keeping Up with the Carnage to bring in a reference to Mr. Davidson’s ex.

Unfortunately the screenplay strains mightily to make them anything more than blank caricatures. Not enough witty lines make the cut. Sennott’s Alice has the most potential. Maybe she should’ve been granted more material. Bakalova, so winning alongside Sacha Baron Cohen, is lost in a bore of a part. There’s a clever if familiar tale trying to break out in Bodies Bodies Bodies. My post mortem concludes that it mostly fails.

** (out of four)

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