A24’s take on Generation Z: Curated by Halina Reijin’s debut film, Bodies Bodies Bodies
What makes a film so enticing to watch three times in the theater? Thanks to my newly subscribed AMC Stubs A-list, I can spend my time in the violently air-conditioned theater room with my 40oz diet coke and popcorn for a boost of serotonin throughout the month. With Bodies Bodies Bodies, however, it made me forget my drink and popcorn in the first place as I was literally on the edge of my seat. Following a story original scripted by Kristen Roupenian, a group of wealthy college students are trapped in a mansion together to play a particular murder game that turns way too real. The characters realize that through copious amounts of tequila and cocaine, they bluntly hate each other and proceed to become involved in a cat-and-mouse chase.
This film comprises a fantastic ensemble of young and new actors like Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennot, Pete Davidson, Lee Pace, Chase Sui Wonders, and Myha’la Herrold. These individuals seem to depict Gen Z in a different approach that serves as a negative commentary on how our generation perceives life through a social lens. Director Halina Reijn strives for a satirical comedy that resembles a similar storyline of Murder on the Orient Express, where no one but everyone is the killer. It seems like A24’s take on the popular 2020 video game Among Us to add, as the storyline has the characters cultivate a plan to track down the real killer amongst the group of fake friends. When Reijn
said, “it’s Lord of the Files meets Mean Girls,” she was not wrong with that. Regardless of the controversial finale, this film provides an insightful commentary on how our generation views topics like cancel culture, inclusivity, and social hierarchy. These aspects all follow a pattern of wanting to be accepted by a group of people in order to gain better self-worth. Whether it's the amount of followers you have, how much or how little money, or your political views, Gen Z is prone to becoming narcissistic.
As social justice becomes a factor within our lives due to our generation's economic and political turmoil, wanting to separate oneself from others to seem better than the rest becomes evident even in times of stress and tension. Within the film, there are many instances where certain characters bring up issues about themselves and how they are deeply affected. This is because they feel it's “relatable” when it becomes inappropriate, just to get the spotlight again. The use of social media for political reasons and the advocacy of mental health awareness becomes an outlet for Gen Z to manipulate, all for the notion of “not getting canceled” and for an opportunity to seek attention. Although this inherently is not negative, our generation twists the practice and sole purpose for good in the first place.
Regardless, bigoted individuals like certain characters in Bodies Bodies Bodies, show their true colors in order to protect themselves. The film represents how being chronically online is not necessarily something to be proud of, as our generation in the digital social world forgets the original movement and pushes towards progressive change. Instead, they take advantage of arising issues to center themselves in a way where they become a part of the problem.
Bodies Bodies Bodies became a highlight of the dark comedy genre, as with its hilarious moments, it became one of those films for me where I tried not to predict what would happen next and to let the film consume me without expectation. It becomes refreshing to watch a horror film led by a predominantly female cast and production crew. It becomes a film where you either love or hate it, as it perfectly encapsulates our generation's social aspect and underlines meanings most people could not grasp after watching the film. Overall, it simply makes fun of our generation in the perfect way where it doesn’t sound like it's written by a bunch of Gen X’ers or Boomers. One of those more “fun” horror movies to watch, and definitely adding it to the “I can re-watch this” list.