Gen Zers can now say they’re the main characters in a movie about their lives, instead of just joking about it.
“Bodies, Bodies, Bodies” (in theaters now) takes place in a drug-filled mansion where a group of twentysomethings (Pete Davidson, Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova and Rachel Sennott, among others) seek refuge from a hurricane by partying the night away. To add a bit of spice to the evening, they play a murder mystery game called Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, which is all fun and games until real corpses pile up.
The dark-humored social satire skewers everything from the panic of the WiFi cutting out to social media challenges gone wrong – but all with the best of Gen Z in mind. “It is never my intention to mock or make fun of or undermine,” director Halina Reijn promises.
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In “Bodies,” the friends aren’t fazed by the storm raging outside the mansion’s walls, and they’re willing to set aside their personal problems with each other to prioritize one thing: making TikToks with Tyga and Curtis Roach’s Gen Z quarantine anthem “Bored In the House.”
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“There’s a huge war in Ukraine, we’re melting because there’s heat waves because of climate change, abortion is being banned, and at the same time, we’re all on Instagram,” Reijn says. “That is, of course, also human nature. In the face of death, we’re still talking about banal things.”
As the death toll rises in “Bodies,” the characters get candid about the struggles they face, including Alice (Sennott), who reveals in a tense discussion that she has body dysmorphia.
The “Shiva Baby” actress says she shared her real-life experience with dysmorphia during a cast dinner, and Reijn wrote it into the movie. Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with perceived flaws in their appearance.
ableist by Sophie (Stenberg) for using the term “psychopath.” In another, David (Davidson) is accused of “gaslighting” by his girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), though he criticizes the use of the term, labeling it “Twitter language.”
“They really easily use the words because they have access to all the vocabulary through their phones, but sometimes they haven’t really experienced it yet,” Reijn says.
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The “Bodies” soundtrack includes hyperpop needle drops from the actors’ own playlists, Reijn says. Stenberg, for instance, chose Azealia Banks’ “212.”
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Pop star Charli XCX recorded an original song titled “Hot Girl” for the soundtrack after seeing the film and relating to it. “I can not tell you how creative, how fast, how open, how smart she is,” Reijn says. “I’m really very much in love with her.”
Alice brings her new 40-year-old boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace) to the party, who is immediately suspected as the killer because he’s an outsider.
She says they met on Tinder and when prompted by her friends to answer questions about his job or middle name, Alice defends her love interest by exclaiming, “He’s a Libra moon!”
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“I feel that the whole astrology thing within Gen Z is such a mainstream, accepted thing to talk about and to define others,” Reijn says. “That just had to be in there and had to be part of it, and how they communicate and how they date.”
Sennott, who follows astrology, stands by her character’s assessment.
“A Libra moon, to me, feels like probably not a murderer, to be honest,” Sennott says. “A Libra moon feels like a free spirit.”