Body stars Alexandra Turshen, Helen Rogers and Lauren Molina as a group of college students who drink, smoke pot and talk trash with each other. On the night before Christmas Eve they decide to visit a mansion to enjoy a girl’s night out, only to wind up being confronted by the house’s caretaker played by Larry Fessenden. When one of the friends accidentally pushes the groundskeeper down the stairs crippling him, they conspire to make it look like a sexual assault. Quickly though, the situation turns violent and murderous.

The first act of Body mainly concerns the three main characters having a get together over the holidays. It isn’t much more than light exposition and at times the jokes and banter can drag, but very quickly when things become complicated the movie picks up steam and we are treated to a fun and intense thriller. Larry Fessenden does great work here as the unfortunate groundskeeper, and there are actually some scenes in here that genuinely shock and are emotionally gripping. It’s surprising and rewarding and completely unexpected.

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When friends Cali, Holly and Mel decide to go party at Cali’s uncle’s mansion, the three wind up breaking and entering and Cali has to explain that the house is owned by a family she worked for as a babysitter. Soon they are discovered and when things quickly go wrong, they hatch a plan to lie to the police about why there is a dead man in the house. When they realize the man they’ve pushed down the stairs is still alive, each of them begin to turn on each other. Fights erupt, friendships are broken and blood is quickly spilled.

Body is a small ensemble piece that starts off rocky and quickly becomes a very solid and entertaining thriller. Each cast member winds up giving great performances and the film is well directed and edited to make its short running time seem full. Good cinematography and practical effects and stunts help the work on screen feel realistic and the dialogue for the most part is naturally played straight and sincere. I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would. This is one that will surely work well for fans of the older style of more mature and intimate thrillers.

Hawkins’ Rating:

Out of a Possible 5 Stars

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