Body is the feature film debut of filmmakers Dan Berk and Robert Olsen. It follows a trio of young women who decide to move their boring “girl’s night” to a mansion whose owners are out of town for the holidays. But as is the case with most genre films; things aren’t exactly as they appear, and the girls’ spontaneous decision to liven up their evening has grave consequences. Body isn’t quite a horror film, but it does offer great tension and a fair amount of blood. Plus it has Larry Fessenden and is set at Christmas time. That alone should be enough to garner the interest of many horror fans.
I don’t think it’s spoiling much to say that there’s a body, given that it’s the name of the movie. Larry Fessenden is that body, but he’s not exactly a corpse. He’s a guy that showed up at the wrong place at the wrong time – as did pretty much everyone involved. You remember in I Know What You Did Last Summer when they hit the guy with their car and decide to dispose of the body and keep it a secret? Imagine a film entirely about the psychology of coming to a decision like that. I won’t say too much more about the plot, because it is a very simple one, and it wouldn’t do anyone much good to know more than that going in.
Luckily, the running time accommodates the plot’s simplicity at a cool 75 minutes. It works well enough as is, but the film almost feels like part of an anthology. In fact, it could probably get by with a few cuts to fit into that framework and come out just as well.The acting is quite good and the characters are pretty believable. They feel like real people, which helps significantly in a story like this. Without that element, there’s really no reason to care about what happens. Everyone involved does a wonderful job in that regard. Helen Rogers (V/H/S, 24 Exposures, The Sacrament) is particularly good.
It’s not quite an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but it’s suspenseful enough to keep you engaged throughout its duration. Body is authentic in its approach, and that plays well with a film that has the sole purpose of exploring a single decision. I think it would make a good double feature with something like Compliance. Give this one a look.
The film hits VOD on December 29th. Berk and Olsen wrote and are co-producing the upcoming Mike Mendez movie Don’t Kill It, which stars Dolph Lundren.
Decent Little Thriller
Body could have played just as well as a segment in an anthology or a short film. With its to-the-point premise and brief running time; the solid acting, characters, and situation feel authentic. More thriller than horror and probably not one for repeat viewings, but it’s well worth a watch.