Bodies Bodies Bodies director Halina Reijn discusses how A24’s latest horror flick turns social media addiction into a bloody murder mystery.
Bodies Bodies Bodies director Halina Reijn says TikTok was a major inspiration behind A24’s newest horror flick. Featuring an ensemble cast that includes Maria Bakalova, Pete Davidson, Rachel Sennott, Amandla Stenberg, and others, the film follows a dysfunctional group of young adults as a hurricane traps them in their friend’s mansion. After the storm kills the power in the house, the longtime friends decide to pass the time playing a murder mystery game they call Bodies Bodies Bodies. The game finds one of them turning up dead for real, and bloody chaos ensues.
The characters of Bodies Bodies Bodies are unmistakably Gen Z and heavily influenced by today’s social media culture. The movie hardly contains a scene without someone texting, filming a TikTok, or emphasizing the importance of the group chat because someone missed a message. Words like”lit,” “canceled,” and countless other hyper-modern slang terms are used in abundance. One of the taglines used in posters and ads for Bodies Bodies Bodies is even, “This is not a safe space.” Therefore, it is not hard to see where Reijn and screenwriter Sarah DeLappe got their inspiration from.
Reijn explains to NBC News that she wanted Bodies Bodies Bodies to be an examination of how Gen-Zers use TikTok and other social media platforms to define themselves. She discusses the importance of including at least one phone in almost every scene, and how when the characters lose service and internet because of the storm, their “animalistic” reactions are intended to reflect the pitfalls of being so heavily reliant on these devices. Read Reijn’s breakdown of Bodies Bodies Bodies below:
“It’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ meets ‘Mean Girls.’ We are all so addicted to our phones that we’re not really in the moment, we’re not really looking at each other, and we’re not really looking at what’s going on in the world. When I was young, when I had a panic attack, I tried to hide it. I wouldn’t even know what word to use for it. Now, everybody knows all these words and has all of this vocabulary, but are we really communicating? Are we really looking into each other’s eyes, or is it through a screen?”
After it premiered earlier this year at South By Southwest, Bodies Bodies Bodies was with praise for its biting satire. Critics called it “marvelous” and “ludicrous” in the same sentence, which only seems more appropriate after hearing the points that Reijn wanted it to make. The characters are mostly one-dimensional, self-indulgent, and shallow. Their friendships with each other crumble at the first sign of trouble. Most of the horror is so ridiculous that it could have been avoided if these people had any sense or substance. This was all intentional, as Reijn point out, as there is a real lack of communication between everyone. Everyone values their screens and images more than each other.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is a fun ride that asks viewers some disturbing questions under the surface, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to fans of A24. This is the same studio behind Midsommar, Hereditary, and this year’s menso it already has a reputation for horror movies made scarier by the things they have to say about society at large. Bodies Bodies Bodies is simply the most recent addition to an already-impressive lineup.
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Source: NBC News
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