A24's latest looks like another critical darling

what to watch

(Image credit: A24 via YouTube)

Rotten Tomatoes scores aren’t everything but A24’s new horror comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies is getting the raves that has my eyes wider than star Pete Davidson’s. The film, which begins a limited-release run tomorrow (August 5) has always looked interesting from its provocative trailers.

At the time of publishing, Bodies Bodies Bodies is “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab), with a strong score of 98%. While the A24 brand feels like a great indicator of a film’s quality these days — though your mileage may vary — it’s good to see the film is doing well so far. 

The 95-minute horror comedy is getting high marks for its clever script and game cast, and if the critics are right, we’re betting word of mouth will help Bodies Bodies Bodies open wider and attract — you guessed it — more bodies to the theaters. While some A24 flicks have recently hit HBO Max (the best streaming service for our money), Bodies Bodies Bodies will wind up on Showtime, per a deal that ends this November (opens in new tab).

What is Bodies Bodies Bodies all about?

The plot is simple: a group of wealthy 20-somethings (and the older Greg, played by Lee Pace) are throwing a hurricane party at a family mansion owned by David (Davidson). But when it comes time to play a party game called “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” things go wrong and one of their friends are murdered.

Before everything goes wrong, though, the gang — which is led by actress Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give) — is throwing a big party filled with making out, enjoying illicit substances and poolside fun. Throughout the entirety of it all, the group of kids jab each other verbally in ways that might make you think this is a satire of Gen Z. (One reviewer says otherwise, as we’ll get to below.)

Check out the trailer, but consider this warning for foul language and other adult content:

Bodies Bodies Bodies is all the more topical for Davidson, who is seemingly leaning into all of the rumors people have said about him over the years.

It all looks like a modern version of Clue, but instead of color-themed characters, you’ve got a house full of Gen Z’ers with trust issues, all while neon lights pop off the screen.  

Bodies Bodies Bodies reviews: What the critics say

As noted above, Bodies Bodies Bodies is at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes with a ton of positive reviews. For example, The Observer’s Emily Zemler (opens in new tab) says Bodies, Bodies, Bodies “is hilariously and cleverly of the moment, embracing the digital age and the types of people it has generated,” and that it has “a delightful whimsy … even though it’s ostensibly about people being killed.” She also notes “it may alienate an older audience.”

The AV Club’s Mark Keizer (opens in new tab) writes that director Halina Reijn “isn’t shaming her characters” for their Gen Z foibles, “nor is she attempting a boomer-approved takedown. The film is more observational than scathingly critical, and there are moments when we’re not sure if that’s a problem—or the point.” 

what to watch

(Image credit: A24)

Keizer’s review is positive, as he credits Bodies Bodies Bodies for its “biting, class-aware humor” and how it “shrewdly and with abandon, adds social media-fueled performative wokeness” to the list of topics you get in similar movies, as he places it in a Venn diagram alongside “Mean Girls, Heathers, And Then There Were None, Lord Of The Flies, The Exterminating Angel, and even The Rules Of The Game.”

Benjamin Lee’s review at The Guardian (opens in new tab) declares that Bodies Bodies Bodies offers “plenty of nasty late summer fun.” Lee also credits writer Sarah DeLappe’s “specific and spiky dialogue receives an extra lift from one of the better-orchestrated ensembles in recent memory, with Sennott the real standout, acing comic support without overplaying, turning even throwaway lines into zingers.”

Should you go see Bodies Bodies Bodies?

If you like horror and you can stand Gen Z tropes as a topic, Bodies Bodies Bodies looks like a perfect way to beat the heat. I myself was supposed to see it this weekend, but had to cancel my tickets for personal reasons.

While Bodies Bodies Bodies seems more cultural critique than true horror, it definitely looks like a fun time out at the cinema.

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