by Adam Riske
Reviewing a movie like Body is a pleasure and a privilege. I started the year doing my regular thing of reviewing one of the latest new releases like The Forest and Ride Along 2 and it was getting to be somewhat unbearable. I had a strong inclination that they were going to be bad movies, I saw them and they were bad movies and then I chose to spend another hour writing about how they were bad movies, to which people commented basically “Yeah, I didn’t think it would be good.” I’m kinda done with that shit. I just want to review movies I like going forward. In the spirit of Movie Love for Movie Lovers, consider a review from me, from now on, to be a tacit recommendation. They are not all going to be perfect, and Body is far from perfect, but it is absolutely worth seeing. Is that cool? Cool.
I said reviewing a movie like Body is a privilege because the best thing I can do with a review is to champion a movie that is unseen and under-appreciated. I was lucky enough to see this movie by chance at last August’s Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival (with our own Patrick Bromley) and it has stuck with me since. Body tells the story of three young women who are bored on Christmas Eve and come down with a case of the fuckarounds. They break into a mansion, a body later comes into play and things forever change for our heroines.
The Night Before, that’s for sure. It’s so much fun spending time with them that when the plot kicks in it’s almost a buzzkill. Oh well. We’ll still always have those super fun opening 25 minutes.
The rest of the movie is good though, too, in a Twilight Zone morality play type of way. I love that aspect of horror movies where they put their protagonists in a situation of having to do very bad things and give the audience a chance to consider what they would do if they were in the shoes of the characters. Body is also an example how well horror can manipulate audience sympathies. That first act is crucial. We like the lead characters so much from the beginning that our impulse is almost just to want to see them escape trouble rather than do what is right. Body runs only 75 minutes, which is probably why it works as well as it does. In the middle you can feel the movie slightly spinning its wheels so getting out quicker was probably a wise idea. As it is it’s compact, suspenseful and fun. This is the feature debut of Dan Berk and Robert Olsen and they’ve made a beautifully shot, well-written horror/thriller that makes me eager to see what they have up their sleeves next.
Body is available on Amazon Instant Video for rental or purchase. If you see it, leave a comment and let me know what you think. I think it’s a movie worth championing.