Bodies Bodies Bodies

Bodies Bodies Bodies ★★

Yeah yeah, I know, this festival darling from the 'elevated horror' machine of A24 is all the rage right now. And from the trailer it looked like a genuinely fun skewering of Gen Z stereotypes, with a crafty little slasher topspin. But it isn't actually that. It's much lesser then that. There's very little slasher to go around, and hardly much of a comedy or a satire to speak of. Gen Z can't even hope to get a clever, self effacing horror satire of it's own inner demons without it seeming like a trite little knock-off of the 'Scream' franchise. This is the best we can do?

What makes 'Bodies' all the more poisonous is that critics are heaping accolades at this like it's the second coming or something. It's giving the new gen a false impression that this is somehow satire worthy of mention with stuff like 'Scream', or an exuberant riff on an Agatha Christy whodunit. It's really not. So much of the runtime is taken up with rancid twitter speak perpetrated by a veritable 'league of Instagram morons' as they bitch their way though their passive aggressive grievances over the course of one stormy night. To make things worse, none of these people can qualify as rooting interests. All of them, nearly every single one of these characters, is an absolutely noxious pissant that you delight in rooting for their demise. That's probably the point here, to see how far an audience is willing to stick with a gaggle of Gen-Z trust-fund kids as they get systematically picked off by an unknown killer, in ascending order of attractiveness.

But this film isn't bolstered by a particularly clever script, or any performances that come close to engaging. The winking nods at Gen Z's cringe syntax aren't clever just because they exist. It needs to lead to something other then the screenplay acknowledging these tropes, and then bathing in them. I thought I'd get more laughs out of the savage skewering of these tropes, but it turns out that watching them play out feels more like a chore. What's the satire here? That Gen Z is so helplessly self absorbed and addicted to victim status that they will ultimately be the death of themselves? I mean, that's probably true, and I can't stand Tik Tok culture's vice grip over an increasingly addled and idiotic internet following, but this shit is weak sauce.

The filmmaking occasionally rises to the level of competency, mostly in the visual department. Halina Reijn (directing) enlists the aid of Jasper Wolf (cinematography) to give the nighttime sequences in the desolate mansion a stained, grungy look, illuminated by glow sticks and IPhone flashlights. It's a lot more evocative then you'd expect from a movie like this, largely because Jasper Wolf (who shot the B E A UITIFUL film Monos) is like a first time directors BFF.

Also, just a final note: Fuck this movie's final twist. I know it serves the underlying narrative theme, but it felt cheap, and I hated it. It almost makes me hate the rest of the movie even more. This is coming from a guy who isn't that far out of this films targeted sadgetire range, and who likely agrees with alot of the jabs being thrown, but you gotta be bringing better goods then this.

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