If you ever realize you’re in a movie, never go on a vacation/destination wedding/getaway party. Hollywood hates any type of lavish holiday, as they often seem cheery at first, but end with the reveal of traumatic family secrets, are hampered by various catastrophes, turn into a monster movie midway through, or end in murder! But Bee (Maria Bakalova) and Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) don’t know that. They’re two very affectionate, college-aged lovers, and Sophie is taking Bee to meet her childhood friends at her best friend David’s (Pete Davidson) mansion party. Sophie is a recovering drug addict, fresh out of rehab, and Bee seems very uneasy about these unfamiliar surroundings. Meanwhile, an incoming hurricane has turned this into an impromptu “Hurricane Party.” A bunch of young adults, surrounded by drugs and alcohol, and trapped in one location? I think you know where this is going.

But that’s just the plot trappings that serve as the setup for what is really a social experiment. Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, directed by Halina Reijn from a screenplay by Sarah DeLappe, is a whodunit that fashions itself as an examination of Gen Z. Particularly the feminine perspective of Gen Z. This is a movie written and directed by women, focusing primarily on the fears and concerns of the women the movie portrays. However, this doesn’t mean the movie lacks interesting male characters, but we’ll get to them later. Instead, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is much more interested in a story about women in a digital age. For everyone wants to be appreciated and loved, but unrelenting criticism on social media and trepidatious online dating make this a tall task. We can’t trust anyone online, but the film also asks if we can fully trust our so-called ‘friends’ either.

Ultimately, tensions rise as it becomes apparent quickly that Sophie has a contentious history with her friends, particularly the loquacious Jordan (Myha’la Herrold). You get the sense that Sophie’s overdose, and the fallout thereafter, caused much more drama than she’s let on to Bee, and it seems there’s an abundance of mudslinging on the tips of everyone’s tongues. Thank God for the cocaine and alcohol, as the gang let’s loose, makes some Tik Tok videos, and slap each other for sport (no really). But the evening’s events reach a crescendo when the group begins to play Bodies, Bodies, Bodies – a mystery whodunit game, mostly held in the dark, that requires the participants to solve the case as each dead body piles up. But it’s not long before the game gets way too real.

Reijn is clearly well-versed in whodunits, and knows what keeps the suspense going from scene to scene. Namely, that you can never trust a single person’s motive. Much of this is accomplished through the character of Bee, a foreign student with an unclear past. She is one of the few characters who the main group have no familiarity with, and thus it is easy for the audience to wonder who she is and what she’s thinking. However, like any great mystery, everyone is a suspect and the movie wisely muddies the waters on what would or wouldn’t be a good motive, and who could possibly be in cahoots with each other.

The film is a satire about Gen Z, and capitalizes on some aspects of modern culture that may be controversial or off-putting. In other words, these characters aren’t always likeable, and thus the movie does a great job of getting us to question their motives. If you’re someone who shares in the beliefs of the characters, you’ll get roped into the mystery and the mad dash to figure out who the killer may be. If you’re slightly annoyed by these archetypes, you’ll get swept up in their many arguments, petty disputes, and Reijn’s penchant to call out their hypocrisy. These characters represent the characteristics of the terminally online: they are progressive thinkers who consider themselves virtuous and enlightened, quick to point the finger, but struggle when the scrutiny is placed on them.

This all comes together with a rich cast that knows how to play these archetypes well. Chase Sui Wonders plays an rising actor, and thus her friends can never tell when she’s genuinely dramatic or tapping into her acting instincts for sympathy. Rachel Sennott (Shiva Baby) nearly steals the movie as Alice – as an aways-on, perpetually annoying aspiring Podcaster. In many ways, these archetypes aren’t that removed from influencers who desire clout in the real world, but the film interestingly shows that clout-chasing still exists in your circle of friends. They don’t respect each other’s proclivities, but it’s understandable because everyone here is a little disingenuous, hiding either the truth or their true opinions if it doesn’t appear to be savory.

But perhaps the most interesting persona here is Bee. Bakalova did wonders as an incredibly unique character in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and while this isn’t quite as scene-stealing of a work, there’s still layers to this very strange but fascinating performance. Here, she’s playing someone who isn’t wholly who she says she is, but is also struggling to fit into her surroundings. One revealing moment showcases her putting on makeup, even after the deaths of multiple people, and the group predictably is aghast when they notice the change. She’s ultimately a low self-esteem cipher, who fails to read the room or understand her young American contemporaries.

Meanwhile, the film’s finite cast of male talent still leave an impactful impression. Namely Greg (Lee Pace), Alice’s mid-40s boyfriend who understandably creeps everyone out. On the one hand, you would question the motives of a guy who’s dating someone 20 years his junior. On the other hand, early on he doesn’t do anything wrong, so when he starts getting harassed and made fun of by these much younger socialites, the film slyly stumbles upon a good bit of sympathy for him. Also, Lee Pace just crushes this role, he nails the rocker dad that’s stayed-in-the-club-too-many-years energy. However, his foil is Pete Davidson’s David, who mostly spars well with the veteran actor. David is the embodiment of simmering male petulance, and perhaps a little sexual insecurity, but its usage is too slight for the theme to feel fully explored.

Eventually, the movie opts for a critical reveal that fully changes the perspective of this biting satire, which even threatens to take some of the fun out of the entire enterprise. Essentially, what the ending of the movie accomplishes is implicating the entire cast for their naivete, poor decision making, and rash judgement. The reason the events turn into a bloodbath is everyone’s fault, they all shoulder blame to a certain extent. That’s a damning critique of the toxicity of modern social discourse, but probably takes something away from this movie in potential repeat viewings. For, the intrigue of a whodunit is the motivations that inspire a (hopefully) eclectic cast of characters, but especially the malice of the murderous culprit. However, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies pivots and turns that idea into a punchline. As a result, the audience is left to wonder if we were too invested into the machinations of these character interactions. For what seems like subtle behavioral tics from various characters, that may spell something deeper later on, loses their dimensionality once the entire plot has been revealed.

Nonetheless, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is well-shot, slick, engaging bout of suspense that acts as a showcase for its rising cast of stars. Particularly, Bakalova, Herrold, and Sennott have standout performances. It’s admirably ambitious, even if those ambitions aren’t always successful. It’s also the latest entry in the changing tides, as Hollywood continues to learn how to depict Gen Z in interesting and accurate stories. If nothing else, this silly satire is proof-positive that the kids are not alright. But the tradeoff is the movies may be, because good cinema doesn’t come from perfect people.