Written and directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen
It’s the night before Christmas Eve and three girls, Holly, Cali and Mel, who are bored out of their brains, decide to go to Cali’s uncle’s mansion for a bit of drinking, fun and frolics whilst he’s away for the holidays. After emptying the booze cabinet, playing with a golf buggy and messing around in the games room, it becomes apparent that this isn’t Cali’s uncle’s home at all. When a man comes to the house to investigate why all the lights are on, the trio flee but a scuffle on the staircase sees the man fall down the stairs and break his neck. Now, with a dead body on their hands, the girls must figure out what to do: do they come clean and tell the cops and possibly face a prison sentence or do they claim self defence and save their skins?
Thriller BODY thrusts the viewer into a moral dilemma as a trio of young females must decide how to proceed with a life changing decision after their night of cheap laughs turns sour. The film initially introduces the viewer to the three girls who are quite likable and easy-going. Playing Scrabble in Mel’s home, it’s clear to see the different personas of the three. Mel is the smart yet quiet one who’s pot-smoking father embarasses her. Holly is obsessed with her boyfriend Ben who her friends feel is invading her friend’s time a little too much with constant phone calls. Cali is the party queen, the extrovert, and although she doesn’t know the difference between the words ‘satin’ and ‘satan’, she knows how to have a wild time. However, it’s Cali’s crazy antics which gets the girls in bother and before they know it, an evening of harmless fun turns into a potential murder charge. Not wanting to go to prison for trespassing or murder, even if it was accidental, the girls come up with a plan of action to save their skins but will it all work out how they planned?
BODY starts with such a strong opener but halfway through the film it falls into familiar territory and loses its initial quality and appeal. Their immaturity shines through clear as day when they attempt to manufacturer a cover story, using television programme CSI as a guide on how to make the tragic events look like self defence. As the film unfolds, the events become increasing questionable and opinion is split on how the girls should proceed. When the situation develops into something else, the girls are taken out of their comfort zone and their response is crazed as they find themselves out of their depth. Reality seems a million miles away as panic and fear overrules their mind and common sense.
The performances from the three leads, Helen Rogers (Holly), Alexandra Turshen (Cali) and Lauren Molina (Mel) are strong to begin with but as the film’s quality dips, the performances of both Rogers and Turshen feel a little over the top. Larry Fessenden shines in his small role as Arthur, the unfortunate victim of the girls’ exploits and, although he’s not given much, he does well to create a victim we can sympathise with.
BODY does a fine job of throwing the viewer into the life-changing predicament and makes you question how you would react in the same situation however the execution of the latter end of the film offers nothing that we haven’t seen before.