Body Body Body (2022) Review

Body Body Body (2022)
Director: Halina Reijn
Screenwriter: Sarah Delappe
With: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, Pete Davidson

Featuring a cast of names that have appeared in a variety of projects – from Amandla Stenberg whose breakout role as Rue in The hunger Games brought audiences to tears in their movie theater seats in 2012, to Lee Pace whose filmography has included many pop culture delights such as Garret from Twilight: the breaking dawnHalina Reijn’s third directing project Body Body Body hit the big screen, making the unknown actor-director a new name among comedy and horror fans.

Beginning with the arrival of young couple Sophie (Stenberg) and Bee (Maria Bakalova) at a large mansion hidden behind security gates, the guests making up Body Body Body’ the cast prepare for a hurricane party hosted by Pete Davidson’s David. As night draws near, we’re introduced to the tensions in the friendship group, with a murder-themed board game becoming the deadly trigger for chaos as the storm erupts outside.

The majority of Body Body Body takes place in darkness as the hurricane causes a power outage, this plot resembling “the-killer-cuts-the-telephone-lines » trope but adopted for the ultra-connected contemporary era. This increases the panic factor, with characters’ stress reaching new levels as they lose their connection to the outside world. The inherent fear of not knowing what lies just beyond their field of vision is compounded by the fact that the light sources appear primarily in the form of the characters’ telephone torches as they walk through the house, which, to approach, comes across as a fun nod to horror movies like The Blair Witch Project which used limited lighting as a means of leaning into what you can’t see as the biggest horror of them all. In its cinematography, this chaotic lighting is effective in aiding the chaos of the story while injecting a sense of realism found in the use of a less organized lighting mode. The inclusion of tangled lightsticks draped around Rachel Sennott’s character ensures that the lighting is also used as a comedic tool, which, given the comedy-horror genre, is a smart move by cinematographer Jesper Wolf.

There are many brilliant talents in this movie, the iPhone’s torch feature being one of them, but it’s Rachel Sennott’s role as Alice that’s most memorable, her voice Twitter par excellence and its excellent comedic timing with words stolen from a hodgepodge of internet speech: “it’s ableist”, “I’m an ally”, “it’s a balance-moon”. These moments shape the film’s satire, which soon resembles a Twitter feed after a huge event, with each character reacting and overreacting at each moment more dramatically than the next. The tapping of the telephone keys becomes a staccato accompaniment to the shrill cries of its cast.

Casting choices have had their fair share of independent titles (notably Sennott’s appearance in Emma Seligman’s Baby Shiva), but casting actors who have had their time in the Tumblr-teen spotlight seems like a smart move when the project itself hinges on satirizing privilege and gen-z online culture. Who else would celebrate a hurricane with drugs and drunken board games, if not a group of wealthy college graduates? They’re trending TikTok and dancing to Azealia Banks’ “212” as the storm rages on, safe in their world, or so they think. It’s Sophie’s girlfriend, Bee (Bakalova), the quiet Eastern European woman with little privilege or wealth who is pushed into the party nervously holding homemade zucchini bread, who represents value. odd in this movie. She represents the authenticity of people from whom others are socially distant, both in class and culture, and this becomes evident when the characters make their not-so-subtle references to wealth, as if huge houses weren’t enough. obvious. While it’s not the sharpest deconstruction of class found in the film — certainly not Ken Loach’s creation — it’s a significant aspect of the story that provides connection in a privileged, socially disconnected group.

The success and charm of this story lies in its actors who are trapped in a kind of lord of the flies-esque derailment that threatens their friendships and their lives. At the heart of their story is mistrust and inauthenticity that exposes their insecurities like an open wound. The whole story becomes a metaphor for the generation itself and its relationship to the internet. They begin to see danger where it doesn’t exist and refuse to understand the nuance in which it lies, leading to the climactic (or some would say anti-climactic) ending.

Satire of gen-z culture is becoming increasingly popular from a contemporary horror angle, with topics such as content culture and social media performance interpreting age-old horror tropes of masked characters and horror. impulse to exploit. Horror has always discussed the grotesque quirks of its audience, films like Mary Harron’s American psycho (2000) which portrayed the misogynistic and sociopathic angles of yuppie culture, in the style of Eugene Kotylarenko Party (2020) with Joe Keery playing an attention-seeking uber driver who livestreams his murders.

In his heartBody Body Body is a film that knows its audience and the online world it lives in. It plays well with its cast and their respective places on the internet, while understanding the nuances of Gen Z culture as something to be fondly laughed at. Halina Reijn has proven with this project that she’s one to watch in both the horror and comedy genres, and her amusing mastery of storytelling will have you looking forward to her next project.. If you’re looking to poke fun at kids or experience top-notch tongue-in-cheek Twitter talk, then this is a movie that won’t disappoint. While its horror elements err on the side of caution, the comedy will satisfy you if the jump is scary and the blood-covered cast doesn’t.

Rating: 22/24

Written by Morgan Barr

You can follow Morgan Barr on Twitter – @Barr_Grylls