Slamdance 2015: Body Review

The gruesome thriller Body manages to put a slightly different spin on home invasion films. The story revolves around twenty-somethings Holly (Helen Rogers), Cali (Alexandra Turshen) and Melissa (Lauren Molina) who are bored one Friday night and decide to sneak into mansion belonging to a family Cali knows to be on vacation. It’s mostly harmless fun until a groundskeeper checks in on the house and while trying to run past him Holly accidentally knocks him down the stairs and he breaks his neck. The differences of opinion between the girls on what to do next escalates the situation to unnecessary yet entertaining levels.

The film begins with the girls playing scrabble, and Cali spells ‘satan’ with the tiles, or at least she thinks she does, as the letters actually spell ‘satin’. At first it seems like this is some heavy handed foreshadowing of evil supernatural elements that the girls are going to fall victim to, like the Scrabble version of  a Ouija board. The ‘satin’ thing turns out to be just a bit of tongue and cheek humour, as the only evil in the story is what seemingly normal people become capable of in extreme circumstances.

Writing and directing duties were shared by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen, yet it feels like their work is incomplete. While it’s always good to leave an audience wanting more, when your credits role at 68 mins that barely feels like a feature. It’s unfortunate because most of the film works quite well. The performances are good and the majority of the plot is suspenseful and unpredictable, but the premise could have been explored further.

 Screens Sunday, Jan 25, 10:30pm and Thursday, Jan 29, 4:00pm