‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ review: Pete Davidson and Co. kill like an insufferable twenties

Did Mr. Sweetgreen kill Miss Uber with the meme in the TikTok?

This is the modern vibe of the new horror movie “Bodies Bodies Bodies”. Sure, serial killers are scary, but not as scary as being in your twenties today. Or, heck, just being surrounded by people in their twenties.

A friend suggested to me after watching the trailer for the hip movie A24 that they were too old for the “Scream”-y movie, starring Pete Davidson and Maria Bakalova.

But I assure you: we are never too old to laugh at millennial and Gen Z idiots.

In director Halina Reijn’s tense, nightclub-like flick, six insipid friends converge on David’s (Davidson) beautiful, gigantic, and remote home for a hurricane-celebrating sleepover. As we do.

Adding a necessary complication for a 2022 youth slasher movie, there’s no cell service at home and the WiFi password is looooooong.

A weekend of quick fun turns into a night of blood.
Erik Chakeen

Sober Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) takes his mysterious, soft-spoken Slavic girlfriend of six weeks, Bee (Bakalova), and she meets Jordan (Myha’la Herrold), Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), podcaster Alice (Rachel Sennott) . and her new older hippie boyfriend, Greg (Lee Pace).

Shots of tequila are downed, lines of coke snorted, and dance parties begin. And then, at nightfall, the group decides to play Bodies Bodies Bodies, a mysterious game of hide-and-seek/murder. Things go bad quickly.

David tears up Sophie, his best friend, for giving up the group chat. Alice comes to Greg’s defense, proclaiming “It’s a Libra moon – that’s saying a lot!” Emma insists she’s “an ally” and people complain that they’re triggered. Someone else shouts accusations of ableism. The satire is positively enticing.

Lee Pace, left, and Pete Davidson are caught up in a murder mystery at
Lee Pace, left, and Pete Davidson are caught up in a murder mystery in ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’.
Gwen Capistran
Amandla Stenberg and Maria Bakalova are in a brand new relationship in the horror movie.
Amandla Stenberg, left, and Maria Bakalova are in a new relationship in the horror film.
Eric Chakeen

Then, during a round, a person walks outside to the veranda to discover a buddy holding his slit and bloody throat and they fall dead to the ground. That he has done? Who is the killer among them?

The thriller aspect matters a lot less than the fun that comes from watching the ridiculous characters spin, and the dominating question of “How many 25 years does it take to solve a murder?” The answer turns out to be a punchline.

Davidson, as usual, plays a pleasantly sardonic version of himself that points out that his clique is crazy even though he’s also a jerk himself.

Playing Bee quietly was also a smart move for Bakalova, who first caught the world’s attention as Borat’s wild and crazy girl in Sacha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary sequel. This earned the then-unknown actress a nod at the Golden Globes. Here, she’s subtle and relatable with a hint of darkness, proving she can do a lot more than fool Southerners.

And Herrold acts with a consistent cold intensity that makes us wonder if Jordan is bad or just awful.

Rachel Sennott makes a splash in
Rachel Sennott makes a splash in “Bodies Bodies Bodies”.
Courtesy of A24

But “Bodies Bodies Bodies” is stolen by the extraordinarily talented Sennott as Alice. The 26-year-old actress was just as terrific in the more subtle and charming 2020 comedy “Shiva Baby,” but here she’s allowed to totally go wild. She creates a character so obnoxious, familiar, and wickedly hilarious that it’s almost therapeutic to see this type of youngster so skillfully mocked.

And, while the comedy genre has become more atmospheric than jokey lately, Sennott still has the old-school skill of projecting a funny persona and nailing punchlines. She should be a big star.

“Bodies”, all things considered, is light. The film moves with lightning speed (better than the alternative) and the climax is a more vicious commentary than a bombshell. It’s never quite as scary as A24’s “The Witch” or “Hereditary,” but that’s not the point.

Reijn’s film, which was written by Sarah DeLappe and Kristen Roupenian, manages to make a young basement horror film for today. And, as last year’s “Scream” reboot showed us, it’s a genre that’s been stuck in 1996 for far too long.

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