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Bodies, Bodies, Bodies: The Horror In Being Seen

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

I’ve never been a fan of horror movies; even if the plot can be interesting, I’m not one for blood and gore. So when my friend asked me to go see Halina Reijn’s Bodies, Bodies, Bodies with her, I was quite hesitant. After some convincing, I decided to go — I could just close my eyes if there was too much blood, after all. I didn’t expect that I would end up enjoying it, let alone that I would have been laughing throughout. Underneath the tension, jump scares, and jokes lay a social commentary about Gen Z and the fears that they can relate to, which I found to be incredibly pertinent and well-done.

Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, along with being the name of the film, is a game that a group of young-adult friends like to play. If you’re familiar with the rules of Among Us, you’re pretty much good to go. Someone is designated as the killer and everyone walks around the house in the dark, hoping not to cross paths with them. Once a “body” is found, the lights are turned on and the players gather to vote on who they think the killer was. On this occasion, the group is playing during a hurricane at one of their parents’ mansions. The game takes a turn for the worse when one member of the group turns out to actually be dead, the murderer a mystery. As things escalate, trust between the friends dwindles, and personal secrets are forced into the limelight in a rather comedic style.

On the surface, the film serves its purpose as a horror movie; it definitely had me on the edge of my seat. It was also surprisingly funny. There were multiple occasions where people were laughing out loud in the theatre, myself included. While it definitely meets the standard of an enjoyable movie-going experience, beneath the surface lay an interesting commentary about Gen Z and the fear of public image, cancel culture, and reputation. 

Throughout the film, you get the sense that the characters — a group of friends in their 20s — are more afraid of being thought of as the killer than the fact that there even is one in the first place. Instead of banding together, you watch the group fall apart through hilarious confessions and character-assassinating accusations even though there is a very real threat present. As a viewer, you begin to wonder: do these people even like each other, or are they just friends to have friends? 

I thought the integration of a satirical component was a well thought out way in which to make a horror film that appealed to the fears of the time. Gen Z lives in a space where everyone is online and has a digital footprint. People post the sanitized versions of their lives, often leading others to experience the paranoia that they don’t have enough friends or that their friends don’t actually like them. On top of that, everything they’ve ever posted is there forever. Bodies, Bodies, Bodies takes this shared experience and raises the stakes without reverting to the “always on their phones” catchphrase. The group is more afraid of what the others think of them than actually being killed. They don’t trust each other, and not because they have no idea who the killer is, but because deep down they don’t really think the others are good people. All of the characters are trapped in their own little world, not because they can’t take their eyes off of their screens (due to the hurricane, they don’t even have service), but because of an ingrained sense of personal disconnect.

For someone who isn’t well-versed in horror, I really enjoyed this movie. It wasn’t just scary for the sake of being scary, but played on the very real and current anxieties of today’s young adults. I enjoyed how the cast played their characters to an extreme and the absurdity of the situation they found themselves in. Even if you’re not a fan of horror, I can honestly say that this is a movie you won’t want to miss.

Alexandra Lamy

Queen's U '24

Alex is a fourth year political studies student at Queen's University. She loves to spend her time watching movies, browsing bookstores, and hanging out with friends!