Rachel Sennot

Bodies Bodies Bodies

18/09/22

Cineworld, Edinburgh

Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) brings her new squeeze, Bee (Maria Baklova), along to a house party at the family home of her old friend, the odious David (Pete Davidson). From the outset, it’s kind of awkward because it’s clear that David and his other house guests haven’t been expecting Sophie, let alone her new partner. In fact, the others – Alice (Rachel Sennot), Emma (Chase Sui Wonders) and Jordan (Myha’la Herrold) – all have their own reasons for not wanting to see her.

The final member of the group is Greg (Lee Pace), a traveller who has been picked up by Emma somewhere along the way. He’s that most dangerous of things: an unknown quantity.

When Sophie suggests a game of Bodies Bodies Bodies (a version of Murder in the Dark), everybody seems ready to give it a go, but – as a tropical storm descends on the area and the electricity and WiFi cut out – old tensions and rivalries start to bubble to the surface. And it doesn’t help that David clearly feels threatened by Greg’s overt masculinity.

And then one of the guests stumbles out of the night with a severed jugular vein…

If the premise of Bodies Bodies Bodies sounds depressingly ‘seen it all before’, take heart because Halina Rejign’s tightly directed feature, written by Sarah DeLappe and Kristen Roupenian, puts a new spin on a very familiar scenario. Shot mostly using only the lights of mobile phones and torches, this somehow manages to make you care about the fates of a bunch of pretty unlikable characters and the snarky dialogue is often unexpectedly funny. As the weather worsens and the body count rises, so the characters’ paranoia steadily mounts – and it’s only when the slay-ride reaches it’s final destination that I realise I’ve been cleverly misdirected.

While it won’t linger in the memory for long, Bodies Bodies Bodies is a fun-filled hour and a half that keeps me gripped right up to its conclusion. What more can you ask of such a slim premise?

4 stars

Philip Caveney