• Kelly M. Hudson

The Body Hits the Floor!

Three college girls are partying at their friend’s house on Christmas Eve when one of them decides they should go out and have some more fun. Knowing nearly everything is closed, they go with their friend who assures them that her rich uncle’s house is empty for the holidays and they can go there and cavort and drink and let loose. And so they do. They play video games, drink the house liquor, and drunkenly drive a golf cart around the large estate. They’re having so much fun they don’t hear the arrival of a man who enters the house and starts shouting at them. Turns out, this isn’t the girl’s uncle’s house but the house of a rich family she used to babysit for. Now the groundskeeper has turned up and they’re in trouble. They try to escape but the groundskeeper catches one of them and she shoves him hard. He tumbles down the stairs and dies. Now the girls are in a pickle. What do they do? They can’t just leave; too much evidence has been left behind as to who they are. So they concoct a wild story to get themselves out of trouble. That story goes out the window when the man revives and pleads with them for help. And that’s when the night truly turns nasty.

Body is a great little movie. It’s very much in the Hitchcock tradition, pouring on the suspense and the nervous tension with each passing scene. It starts out fun; the girls are funny and charming and you really like them a lot. This doesn’t change until their circumstances change. With each new wrinkle, they become less likable and more monstrous. It’s gradual, but by the middle of the film, I started actively rooting for the poor slob paralyzed on the floor, begging for his life. “I picked the wrong night to go out,” he says. He sure did. And the wrong girls to run across. The point of the film is that even the most adjusted and normal people will do extreme things to get away with something. You can’t blame the girls, not at first. But as the situation becomes more dire and twisted, you can see their humanity slipping away. The thin veneer of society is truly thinner than we ever thought. Not overtly gory, although it does have a couple of bloody bludgeoning scenes, this is a movie that plays with your head and your heart. And at a crisp, short running time, it doesn’t divulge in extraneous and implausible side scenes. This one drives right down the middle and kicks you hard in the crotch.

It's funny how innocuous decisions can sometimes lead to tragic results. The idea to go party at a rich person’s house is a great one until a chance encounter and the slip of a foot and a body falling the wrong way. This is a movie about a nightmare that suddenly descends on an innocent group of women and the decisions they make to deal with that nightmare. And in the end, how they only make it worse for themselves. A creepy little morality tale that will stick in your craw for days to come. Streaming now on Shudder.


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