‘Body’ Review: Dirs. Dan Berk & Robert Olsen [Alternative Christmas]

Cali, Holly and Mel are twenty-something childhood friends, reuniting for some fun around the Christmas holidays; yes, a film that reminds us that those festivities aren’t too far away. Dismayed to realise that they might very well have gotten old without realising it they decide to throw caution to the wind and seek out some fun. That fun involves the lavish estate belonging to Cali’s uncle who just so happens to be away for the holidays. Their fun is interrupted by an unknown assailant and after a ruckus the three are left confronted with a body and no easy way to explain it to the authorities.

A dark and intense thriller that pits friend against friend as they each have a different opinion on how best to broach the circumstances. Do they own up and be honest, or be deceitful and lie? Body is an example of one of those films where, although a slightly extreme scenario, the viewer will find themselves wondering what they themselves would do in a similar situation.

Body excels by taking its time to get to know the characters. The majority of the film is spent purely with these three women and it’s good to know who they are and what they’re like before being thrust into a moral quandary. Even more interesting is how each personality then twists and evolves as they vie for self-preservation.

Interestingly co-writers and directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen devised Cali, Mel and Holly to each represent one of Sigmund Freud‘s models of the human psyche, namely id, ego and superego. The three actresses all do a fantastic job of embodying their characters, and as no one is necessarily that wrong with their idea or conviction; each will find an emphatic audience ready to rally to their cause.

Finally this is an all-female film that doesn’t feature the central cast hung up on relationships and work. There’s something rejuvenating about having a female skew to this sort of story. It’s not that often a film of this type features purely women, usually it would be just men or possibly would have a solitary female, a girlfriend of one of the men.

As the snowball spirals, Body loses some of it’s charm but not enough to shake the attention. An excellent idea that will spark debate within the audience, Body is an intense thriller that explores the darker side of human morality.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Body is available to watch on Shudder now.

This review was first published on THN.