“Bodies Bodies Bodies” delivers hilarious Gen Z satire with bloody new horror flick

Sage Dunlap, Life and Arts Associate Editor

Halina Reijn’s “Bodies Bodies Bodies” follows six 20-something friends as they hunker down in a mansion together during a hurricane. However, after an innocent game of lights-out hide-and-seek turns deadly, the group finds themselves forced to discern which among them is responsible for the string of deaths, testing the friends’ loyalty and forcing long-held secrets to be revealed. Released in theaters Aug. 5, the A24-produced whodunit seamlessly blends modern horror and comedy, resulting in a sharp slasher that incorporates poignant commentary about Gen Z culture.

The film showcases a dynamic ensemble of Gen Z powerhouses, including Amandla Stenberg (Sophie) and Maria Bakalova (Bee), who are introduced as a couple at the beginning of the movie. When the coy, enigmatic Bee meets Sophie’s affluent, reckless friend group for the first time at their friend David’s (Pete Davidson) mansion, she takes on the role of cautious observer — a character viewers will ultimately sympathize with thanks to Bakalova’s tense, beautifully awkward performance. Other additions to the cast, such as Alice (Rachel Sennott) and her 40-year-old Tinder-match boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace), add dimension to the group by contributing their own comedic flare to Gen Z satire. 

While films showcasing younger characters can typically feel out of touch with younger audiences, the dialogue of “Bodies Bodies Bodies” felt extremely authentic. Sennott delivered a standout performance as Alice, the self-involved podcaster and astrology aficionado, satirizing well-intentioned but performative activism often associated with people’s fear of being canceled. Littered with modern slang, from quick jokes about star signs to an entire conversation about the overuse of the word “gaslight,” the film’s dialogue never feels forced, commenting on the ridiculousness of certain recent pop culture phenomenons without resorting to on-the-nose humor that feels condescending to younger audiences. 

The characters’ desperation when disconnected from the digital world — a fear very common among young adults raised in a world of 24/7 online communication — is a large theme in the movie. When the house’s power goes out, the group loses cell service, heightening their anxiety and forcing them to resort to brash, illogical solutions when bodies begin turning up. This theme of anxiety about being unplugged, compounded with the characters’ constant use of phone flashlights and a final scene in which characters finally receive notifications when the power returns, successfully underscore the very real fear of sleuthing out a murderer in a large, labyrinthian mansion using the minimal light of phones and neon glow sticks.

Combining elements of iconic whodunits like “Clue” with modern dramedies like HBO’s “Euphoria,” Reijn’s “Bodies Bodies Bodies” employs a fairly simple horror concept to paint a striking portrait of Gen Z culture. Complete with an original song from Charli XCX titled “Hot Girl,” the film exudes confidence and recklessness, making for an instant horror classic perfect for a night out — or stormy night in — with friends. 


4.5 glow sticks out of 5