Let the Bodies Bodies Bodies hit the floor in this whodunnit that feels like Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring had a baby, then had Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None as its nanny.

A group of affluent 20-somethings (Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott, Chase Sui Wonders, Pete Davidson, Myha’la Herrold) plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion; however, the isolation and smothering atmosphere cause fissures within the group and tensions quickly reach boiling point. As anyone who has partaken in one at a family holiday or gathering will recognise, all it takes to tip them over the edge is to play a simple party game.

Myha'la Herrold Amandla Stenberg Maria Bakalova and Rachel Sennott in Bodies Bodies Bodies
Courtesy of A24

Said game, appropriately named “Bodies Bodies Bodies”, is similar to the “Werewolf” or “Son Of Sam” games that featured in Only Murders In The Building. The person who draws the X is the killer, and when the lights are off, they must tap someone on the shoulder to murder them. When the body is found, the group reconvenes to discuss theories and find who among them is the murderer. The round is repeated until the killer is revealed or everyone dies.

Simple enough, it would seem. However, when the house suffers a power cut, one group member takes things a little too literally, and someone winds up dead for real. As the old saying goes, it’s all fun and games until someone gets their throat cut with their dad’s antique Gurkha sword.

Understandably, the group quickly grows more paranoid than the crew of Outpost #31 in The Thing. It does not help that every single character is keeping some secret or other. Even the two nominal leads, Sophie (Stenberg) and Bee (Bakalova), are not being entirely truthful with everyone.

If one was looking for a quick and easy catch-all to represent the group, look no further than Jean Ralphio’s description of his sister in Parks and Recreation: “She’s the wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorst! No, she’s the worst.” Though the audience may not necessarily empathise with the characters, it does not create a disconnect with the material – merely a shift of perspective. For instance, were they being hunted by the likes of Jason or Michael Myers, the audience would likely cheer on the killer.

Courtesy of A24

Instead of rooting for someone’s survival, Bodies Bodies Bodies is a car crash you cannot turn away from, a kind of guilty Schadenfreude that becomes a Lord Of The Flies, survival of the fittest situation. Never mind meat cleavers and kitchen knives, these people deliver their most cutting blows with their words. Sarah DeLappe’s screenplay sees them verbally tearing chunks out of each other by digging up the past, pulling skeletons out of closets and using phrases du jour like “trigger me”, “gaslighting” and “toxic”.

At its heart, however, director Halina Reijn never forgets that the film is a whodunnit murder mystery, and it is here where Bodies Bodies Bodies ultimately succeeds. Fumbling around a labyrinthine maze of corridors with only a cell phone screen for light, the audience is kept as much in the dark as the characters. For, despite this group of former friends dwindling to an ever-decreasing circle, the film keeps you guessing right until the end. Because every character is flawed and fucked up in one way or another, absolutely anyone could have done it. As Randy from Scream would have shouted, “EVERYBODY’S A SUSPECT!”.

Bodies Bodies Bodies is in UK cinemas from September 9th.