Horror Bingo 2022: Bodies Bodies Bodies

First, a note! Horror Bingo will continue until Mekaela or I win—which, at this rate, means it might be going on for a while—but congratulations to Marisa, who got bingo afterThe Call and officially kicked our asses in no time! 🥳😱🥳😱🥳

Now, Bodies Bodies Bodies was the second movie we drew from the skull jar, but it only became available to rent last week. It was available to buy earlier, but we didn’t really wanna spend $20 if we could pay $6 instead, so we waited, and then we waited, and then we were like oh, shit, we forgot! Which brings us to today . . .

Wanna Play Lee Pace GIF by A24 - Find & Share on GIPHY

You know.  I had a pretty decent time watching this one.

Year: 2022
Director: Halina Reijn
First Watch or Rewatch: First Watch
Streaming Service: Amazon Rental
Spoilers: Yes, but only in the last paragraph
Grade: Vanilla with chocolate sprinkles? No, wait, I don’t like sprinkles; they’re textually annoying. How about vanilla with a healthy drizzle of chocolate sauce?

Bodies Bodies Bodies is a horror comedy featuring one of my absolute favorite horror/mystery tropes: Party Game Murder! Like a moth to the flame, if I find a movie (or book) with this trope, I am 100% going to watch (or read) it. Here, the party game is “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” in which one person finds out that they’re the “murderer” and has to “kill” someone else when the lights go out; then everyone tries to guess who the murderer is, and rounds repeat until they find the killer—or everyone is dead. There’s also apparently a rule where each person has to take a shot and slap the person next to them, which . . . look, maybe I’m just not going to the right kind of parties, but I feel like you could just . . . take shots without getting slapped in the face?

I’ve seen a couple of reviews complaining that Bodies Bodies Bodies isn’t scary, but honestly, that doesn’t really seem to be the point of this movie. There are elements of the horrific (mostly light gore), but the film is clearly more focused on the comedy-mystery angle, which was not a problem for me, personally. (Or really even a surprise, considering the basic premise is classic for both slashers and detective fiction—not to mention that many slashers are murder mysteries themselves.) The mystery itself, I think, is pretty well-handled: there are enough shifty characters to keep things interesting, and I was entertained throughout by guessing at the various possibilities. The comedy mostly works for me, too, though your mileage might vary depending on how seriously you take this film as a satire. For me, Bodies Bodies Bodies works best as bubblegum entertainment (not a pejorative): light, colorful, and poking fun at buzzwords or the ultra rich—but not trying to make, like, A Whole Ass Statement. Because as A Whole Ass Statement satire—one that’s skewering vapidity, hypocrisy, and Gen Z culture, presumably—that isn’t so successful. The script is often genuinely funny, but I also think it’s far too broad to really present a clear and considered thesis.

Some other cool stuff I enjoyed about the film: Bodies Bodies Bodies was directed by a woman (Halina Reijn), which is always very exciting to see in horror. The soundtrack is a lot of fun. (I’m listening to “Freak” by Shygirl right now.) And the cast is pretty great! Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha’la Herrold, and Lee Pace are all really enjoyable, but my absolute favorite is definitely Rachel Sennott as Alice.

Wanna Play Lee Pace GIF by A24 - Find & Share on GIPHY

She’s fantastic. She kind of steals the whole show.

Finally—and now we’re getting into SPOILER TERRITORY, folks—I was very pleased that David (Pete Davidson) was the first to die. I did consider the idea that he’d accidentally killed himself, somehow. (You know, playing around with a sword while being high as fuck will do that.) If I’d only remembered the sword/bottle scene earlier! Alas, I mostly ended up stuck between two different scenarios: A) David and Max had killed each other offscreen—and Max’s body was just out in the bushes somewhere, or B) David faked his own gruesome death (either as a prank or just because he’s fiendishly evil), which would finally be discovered when someone tried kicking him in the balls. (Ah, when you pick the wrong foreshadow clue.) I was pretty sure Emma’s death was accidental, though, and that if everyone would just chill out and, like, sit down for five seconds, they’d be fine. But obviously, that wouldn’t have made for a very entertaining film. And I did enjoy this one! Something’s keeping the movie from being, like, a favorite favorite—I’m still having trouble working out why that is, exactly—but I had a good time watching it, and I might enjoy it more on repeat viewings.

Next Up: One Cut of the Dead

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