The first Bodies, Bodies, Bodies trailer is all fun and games until someone gets hurt

Amandla Stenberg, Lee Pace, Maria Bakalova, Pete Davidson, and Rachel Sennott star in the Gen-Z-fluent horror film.


Charles Bramesco


It’s a classic parlor game, a staple of the wee small hours during slumber parties: everyone draws a card, and whoever gets the one marked with an X must play the ‘murderer,’ dispatching their ‘victims’ while fumbling about in the dark as the other competitors try to guess who’s behind the spree. But in the upcoming Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, the pastime that lends the film its title turns frighteningly literal as a night of fun turns into a tooth-and-nail fight to survive.

The first trailer for the much-buzzed-about horror picture arrived online this morning, following up on a well-received premiere earlier in the year at South by Southwest. With an of-the-moment pedigree — the ‘story by’ screenplay credit goes to Kristen Roupenian of Cat Person notoriety, and the cast includes Gen Z-ish talents like Amandla Stenberg, Pete Davidson, Maria Bakalova, and Rachel Sennott — it could be just the thing to perk up the doldrums of late-summer moviegoing.

Over the course of one long night in a tony mansion, a house party sends long-simmering tensions within a friend group to the surface: Sophie (Stendberg) has just gotten out of rehab and has brought along her new girlfriend Bee (Bakalova), while influencer Alice (Sennott) has made things even more awkward by inviting her much-older boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace). Everyone’s got grudges, but the characters will have to figure out whose are bitter enough to motivate murder.

Erin Brady, our critic-on-the-scene in Austin for SXSW, found herself taken in by the blackly comic mayhem, writing that “It’s easy to get swept up in the film’s vibe, so why bother resisting?” She also reserved specific praise for the script’s fluency in the catchphrases of Generation Z: “…instead of poking fun directly at itself, it embraces the absurdity of the group’s situation, as well as the ongoing online culture Gen Z is experiencing. While the usage of buzzwords like gaslighting and toxic might lead to some cringey dialogue, it knows that these characters are using it in a misplaced or weird way, leading to some pretty funny moments.”

Among the many markers of its time and place — a snippet of a Tiktok dance, accusations of “silencing” — there seems to be a more universal story about the tensions that arise within a social circle pushed to the point of breaking. While it’s not the first movie to ask “what if The Big Chill took a left turn into violence?” this will be the first one to do so for the young people of today.

Bodies, Bodies, Bodies comes to US cinemas on 5 August. A date for the UK has yet to be set. 

Published 26 Apr 2022

Tags: Lee Pace Maria Bakalova Rachel Sennott

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