FrightFest VOD film review: Body
James R | On 28, Aug 2015
Directors: Dan Ber, Robert Olsen
Cast: Alexandra Turshen, Helen Rogers, Lauren Molina
Watch Body online in the UK: Sky Cinema / NOW / Apple TV (iTunes) / TalkTalk TV / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google P;ay
Christmas films are everywhere these days. So are horrors. Body joins the relatively small niche of seasonal scary crossovers: the Christmas horror movie. Things start out in a typical way for either genre, with a group of friends hanging out to celebrate the holiday. But events take a dark turn, as the gang goes elsewhere in search of festive thrills.
Led by Cali (Turshen), Holly (Rogers) and Mel (Molina) head to her uncle’s rich home while he’s away. The fully-stocked mansion, complete with booze, arcade games and a pool table, proves the perfect night in – until they realise that something’s not right. If this belongs to Holly’s relative, why are all the photos of a different family? Who lives in a house like this?
The answer comes in the form of the ever-creepy Larry Fessenden, who arrives to find three intruders in his home. What ensues, as the title suggests, leaves the ensemble with a body to dispose off. The surprises come from the tensions between the trio.
All three are convincing as friends, suiting the low-fi aesthetic adopted by directors Dan Ber and Robert Olsen. The look may be dictated by the budget more than by a deliberate style, but it gives events a necessary hint of realism; it’s easy to believe that a group of young people would break into a wealthy property for a laugh, and that, armed with years of watching shows like CSI, they would think themselves capable of covering up a corpse.
As things spiral out of control, though, the dynamic shifts: Alexandra Turshen’s bossy bully starts to be challenged by Helen Rogers’ increasingly forthright Holly, while Lauren Molina’s Mel bobs awkwardly between the two. Smiles give way to screams, as the BFF facade fades and the talk moves from computer games to sex and calling the cops. Keeping shocks to a minimum allows the story to be driven by that changing relationship, meaning that when violence erupts, it has a bloody impact for both the body on the floor and a blunt consequence for the bond between friends. Wisely clocking in at only 75 minutes, the swift departure of good cheer is enough to make for a gripping ride – one that doesn’t stick around to allow its effects to wear off. Body may not stand out from all the other horror movies around, but it’s certainly a memorable Christmas film.
Body is available on Sky Cinema. Don’t have Sky? You can also stream it on NOW, as part of a £9.99 monthly subscription – with a 7-day free trial.