28th Aug2015

Frightfest 2015: ‘Body’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen, Lauren Molina, Adam Cornelius, Larry Fessenden | Written and Directed by Dan Berk, Robert Olsen

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Body sees three girlfriends head out for a wild night during the Christmas holidays, but their jaunt is about to turn deadly. Cali suggests they crash her rich uncle’s mansion since he’s out of town and soon they’re partying the night away. However there’s something Cali hasn’t told her BFFs – namely that they’ve actually jut broken into the place without permission! Soon their part is rumbled by the mansion’s groundskeeper (played by modern horror cinemas equivalent of Christopher Lee, one Mr. Larry Fessenden) who takes a dive down the stairs at the hands of one of the girls. Soon the fear of possible reprisals finds the terrified trio embarking on a course of action from which there is no return.

Already short enough at just over 70 minutes, Body is a snoozefest of movie that, like Joh Fallon’s Frightfest flick The Shelter, would have played out much better as a short. In fact it would have made a decent episode of Fear Itself or Tales From the Crypt, but as a feature I found myself tuning out during the many scenes of the girls arguing and crying – something which, sadly, takes up the majority of this films runtime. The rest of the film is comprised of a trio of women making stupid decisions, suffering conflicts between each other and internally, and generally being unlikeable arseholes who , frankly, get everything they deserve.

Beyond the idea that we’re seeing a home invasion movie from the perspective of the invaders, which these three BFFs clearly are – which is also apparently a riff on Shallow Grave according to the filmmakers – there’s absolutely nothing outstanding or original about Body. It’s the very epitome of a “workmanlike” production, the type of middle of the road horror/thriller that could easily mistakeable for a Channel 5 TV movie. Ideally the film would have been cut through with a wry streak of black humour, at least a few surprises (the idea that that groundskeeper survives his fall is NOT a surprise – its a damn ridiculous cliche), and maybe even a twist or two… Instead we get a paint-by-numbers narrative that goes exactly where you think it headed in exactly the way you expect. And with a cast of characters that are either walking, talking cliches or so under-developed you couldn’t give a monkeys what happens to them.

Not even the appearance of Larry Fessenden in the cast can save The Body from being a total dud. Though kudos for making a film with a trio of female arseholes instead of men for a change!

* 1/5

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