Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans



Directed by Halina Reijn.

Starring Maria Bakalova, Amandla Stenberg, Pete Davidson, Rachel Sennott.
Horror comedy, US, 94 minutes, certificate 15.

Released in cinemas in the UK 9th September by Sony.


There’s an edge to Halina Reijn’s whodunnit that jumps off the screen from the very first frame. Sophie and her girlfriend Bee kiss passionately, shot in a matter-of-fact style that may surprise or shock older viewers and come across as nothing new for the generation that is then mercilessly skewered in various ways over the next ninety minutes. The title then fills the screen to the sounds of Daddy AF by Slayyyter (no idea!) a tune where the lyrics are all f-bombs and c-words. It is a tactic that had one middle aged viewer towards the front of the screening I attended get out of his seat within two minutes, never to return while the more youthful members of the audience at the back giggled away in delight at the onscreen salaciousness.


This confrontational style neatly sets up the cast of mainly Generation Z players who find themselves in the middle of a bloody murder mystery where they find themselves just as concerned with shouting each other down for gaslighting and invasion of personal space just as much as working out which of them is responsible for killing them off one by one. It is a situation brought about by Sophie’s suggestion of a game of Bodies Bodies Bodies during a hurricane party at a vast mansion. Foreigner Bee has already felt out of place among Sophie’s small group of rich friends including podcaster Alice and her spacey forty-something boyfriend Greg, the stand-offish Jordan, Sophie’s childhood friend David and his actress girlfriend Emma. The low-key resentment disguised as bitchy banter soon erupts into full on hostility with the murder in the dark style game where true feelings and long held secrets soon come to light as the corpses pile up.


This mostly self-centred cast of characters would be completely unbearable if not for the talented cast playing them for laughs and Sarah DeLappe’s satirical screenplay. Following up her comedic debut in BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM, Maria Bakalova is a bit of a blank slate here compared to her fellow cast members who get to flex their comedic as well as dramatic muscles here, particularly in one extended scene that plays out like a caustic exercise in character assassination for an entire generation of youths who can only communicate and express themselves in completely hollow statements cribbed from an online world that carries no weight at all in the real one.


The majority of characters are glued to their mobile phones throughout the entire film. Using the illumination of their screens to find their way around the darkened mansion or using them as social weapons against each other hammered home in the closing scenes. It is a blunt point bluntly made but comes across entertainingly enough. Although that can depend on how much patience you may or may not have with this unappealing, selfish and conceited cast of characters. It will be interesting to see if the youth of tomorrow will find this very current feeling slice of slasher cinema as a quaint piece of entertainment in the future.


Iain MacLeod.


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Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans