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SXSW 2022: ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ brings gore, humor to the big screen

SXSW 2022: ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ brings gore, humor to the big screen

SXSW 2022: ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ brings gore, humor to the big screen
March 15
04:38 2022

AUSTIN, Texas — Day four of South by Southwest brought 3,000 people to pack Paramount Theatre in Austin for the world premiere of “Bodies Bodies Bodies” Monday night.

This A24 film about a party gone wrong has Pete Davidson, who plays David, back on the big screen. He’s joined by a cast of four longtime friends who are now in their twenties, along with some significant others who are new faces to the friend group.

The group of friends, made up of Davidson, Amandla Stenberg, Chase Sui Wonders and Rachel Sennott, tried to have a night in of drugs, loud music and good company at a remote family mansion — but within no time, they started playing a game of bodies bodies bodies. This Among Us/mafia-style game spooked everyone, turning the lighthearted comedy into a slasher film.

The audience inside of the Paramount Theatre waits to watch the world premiere of “Bodies Bodies Bodies” on March 14, 2022. Photo by Madeleine Moore

This didn’t stop the humor, though. Despite gore, blood and eerie vibes, the audience cackled at many moments throughout the 95-minute runtime, and director Halina Rejin fostered this balance well. Just when things would start to get tense, someone would make a joke that brought the mood back up.

Adding to the pre-existing list of slasher-comedies, “Bodies” is a solid addition with a strong beginning and end. The start illustrates this tight-knit friend group and how they caught up and integrated their significant others leading up to the start of the game, and the end ties the story together nicely with a plot twist involving Davidson (no spoilers!). You’ll have to watch for yourself when the film hits theaters to see what happens here.

However, the middle of the film is lacking. It’s only fun to watch a bunch of bloody young adults panic and crack jokes for a few minutes, and once that timer passed, it got mundane. It didn’t seem like there was a deeper storyline there around the climax, which would have helped viewers feel more tied to the story. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue if it didn’t account for about half of the film, but since it does, it knocked off a few points.

This doesn’t mean the acting isn’t top tier in this film, though. Each actor brought their all in making this film relatable, even though most of us haven’t been in a house with our friends bleeding out and crying for help. Many wouldn’t expect for this to be as laugh-providing as it is, but the audience got in a chuckle even at some of the goriest moments. And the actors are the main people to credit for this one for their delivery and dedication to playing the part.

Maria Bakalova, who plays Stenberg’s new girl, especially stole the show with her performance. Having first gained traction in her performance in “Borat 2,” this Bulgarian actress embodied her role as an outsider on screen and kept the momentum throughout the film. It would have been nice to see more screen time for Davidson, but with the attention he did get, he was funny without having to try too hard (per usual for him).

Seeing this film with a live audience of primarily super fans helped the experience too. Everyone was super engaged, and having the right crowd

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” director Halina Reijn answers questions after the world premiere of the movie at SXSW on March 14, 2022. Photo by Madeleine Moore

in tow can make or break a screening.

Following the premiere, Rejin, Wonders, Stenberg, Sennott, Bakalova and Lee Pace got on stage for a Q&A about the film, revealing the cast’s bonds and memories. When filming, they said they even indulged in a game of bodies bodies bodies in a hotel room to see what the hype was all about. It doesn’t seem like anyone got hurt in the real-life version though.

During the Q&A, director Rejin said she doesn’t see the film as “horror or drama or comedy or whatever the f–k,” but “it’s [their] own little genre [they] created.” This film is unlike others in its industry due to its modern-day take on a spooky situation, but for the most part it works.

Rejin also said after the film that she doesn’t know when the film will be released to the general public, but she anticipates it being this summer. Keep an eye out for an exact release date so you can see this comedy-slasher-“whatever the f–k” for yourself.

Maria’s final rating: 3/5

Featured Image: The sign for “Bodies Bodies Bodies” is displayed on the front of the Paramount Theatre at SXSW on March 14, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Maria Lawson

Maria Lawson

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