Holly, Cali and Mel decide to party at Cali’s rich uncle’s house the day before Christmas Eve. But Cali lied. A lie that leads to the body of a stranger lying lifeless at the bottom of the stairs. What can they do? What do they say? How will the night play out? And how many bodies will there be by the morning?
Some of you may have noticed that thanks to the growing increase in reference to the scientific wizardry of CSI, its spin-offs and other assortments of crime drama, that people who find themselves on the wrong side of the law – unintentionally or otherwise – are realising that it is not enough to just dump the body. Dumping the body means that there is a body to be found. A body full of microscopic evidence.
With that in mind Holly, Cali and Mel decide not to make the same mistakes as the four graduating high school students of I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), or the six, sorry, five scheming “sisters” of Sorority Row (2009). Unfortunately that is where the rational thinking of this unlucky trio ends. Their minds go to some pretty dark places and they do some pretty sordid things. By the end of it all you’ll be thinking: yeah, they should’ve just dumped the body…
Cali is an interesting mix. Her character embodies the ambitious narcissist in Sorority Row’s Leah Pipes and the unstable survivalist in Last Summer’s Ryan Phillippe as she plays both manipulator and aggressor. Mel, my favourite of the three, is a pleasure to watch. Her personality is instantly likeable. But when the shit hits the fan, she shuts her shit down and remains mostly docile for the rest of the movie. Those of you who connect with her the way I did will find this hugely disappointing. Lastly, Holly, who you might recognise from the VHS (2012) segment “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger”, is cute and so naïve. Easily led astray by Cali under the notion that she is protecting her father’s election campaign, despite the fact that every scenario for the police that they envisage involves Holly breaking and entering, drinking, stealing and smoking pot. They really should’ve just dumped the body…
The chemistry between the girls is undeniably infectious and is the glue that holds the movie together from start to finish. But what I really wanted from Body was a longer showdown, a crazier showdown, a bloodier showdown. A showdown worthy of a Scream movie. Not part 3, of course, but you know, one of the other ones. Instead it was incredibly brief. Until I realised we were in endgame, I don’t think it even lasted one or two minutes. Three tops. I had a jaw-dropping feeling of: Was that it?
Body is a great horror movie, but however implausible to the plot, it’s missing the ass-kicking, blood-spewing, titty-twisting finale that it seriously deserves. You had it right, Berk! You should’ve Wes Craven-ed this shit!
Dir: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Scr: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Starring: Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen, Larry Fessenden
Prd: Dan Berk, Bryan Gaynor, Michael W. Gray, Chadd Harbold, Robert Olsen
DOP: Matt Mitchell
Music: Luke Allen
Run time: 75 mins
Body screened as part of Film4 FrightFest 2015 and is available on DVD and Digital now.