From left to right, Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Chase Sui Wonders and Rachel Sennott star in "Bodies Bodies Bodies." Photo courtesy of A24
LOS ANGELES, Aug 1 (UPI) -- The new horror film, Bodies Bodies Bodies, in theaters Friday from A24, updates the slasher movie for millennials. Where Scream had characters who knew horror movies, Bodies Bodies Bodies finds humor and frights in a generation's mutual distrust.
Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) brings her new girlfriend, Bee (Maria Bakalova), to a house party on the night of a hurricane. Things are awkward with the other guests, David (Pete Davidson), Alice (Rachel Sennott), Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), Jordan (Myha'la Herrold) and Greg (Lee Pace) before anyone dies.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is a murder mystery game they play to pass the time. It establishes the group conflicts, jealousies and resentments between the characters while providing some fun misdirects, too.
When one party guest turns up dead for real, the group sows suspicion among the members. They continue to express distrust about their relationships while more bodies fall and the killer remains at large.
Misunderstandings about the group chat coordinating the party, and misinterpretations of strangers' nicknames, are both funny and speak to how online communication can leave many things open to interpretation. It also shows how fragile modern friendships can be.
All the characters are drunk and high, and they are traumatized by witnessing death throughout the night. They are all acting out in obnoxious ways, but the clever script and charismatic performances make the viewer want to stay to find out how this conflict plays out.
The tension continues to ramp up because all of the characters are so volatile. The drama could go anywhere beyond finding the killer.
Director Halina Reijn and cinematographer Jasper Wolf manage to film Bodies Bodies Bodies well in a dark house and tight spaces. The various light sources also render each character unique and identifiable.
Alice wears glow rings, Jordan sports a helmet light and Sophie has blonde braids that stand out in the dark. The characters also become progressively bloodier as the night continues.
Bodies Bodies Bodies isn't the first horror movie of this generation, and in fact Scream just had a sequel that addressed online fan culture. This movie is a unique meld of A24's brand of mysterious horror and bloody good slasher fun.
Fred Topel, who attended film school at Ithaca College, is a UPI entertainment writer based in Los Angeles. He has been a professional film critic since 1999, a Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2001 and a member of the Television Critics Association since 2012. Read more of his work in Entertainment.