Body is the debut feature length film from writer/directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen. It starts simple enough with a group of girls hanging out on Christmas Eve, after getting high and bored Cali (Alexandra Turshen) suggests they go to her cousin’s house who are supposedly out of town. After partying for a while one of the girls, Holly (Helen Rogers), realizes Cali might be lying about who’s house they are actually in. As Holly confronts Cali about the house, a stranger arrives. Now the girls have nowhere to run.
The first thing that must be said for Body is of its incredible technical aspects. Matt Mitchell (cinematography) and Brian Gaynor (editing) deserve particular recognition for doing such a fantastic job on their first feature length film. Though the movie overall is not without fault, it’s evident this was a project that everyone cared deeply for and put the utmost care into making it. Admirable job to the whole crew on this one.
Now that I have said my praise it’s time for a bit of criticism, this is a review, after all. Strangely, while Body is only 75 minutes the first 25-30 minutes drag. There is a lot of character introduction within the first 30 minutes and for a movie that is just barely over an hour that’s a lot of time eaten up. Plus, there wasn’t a need to get that chummy with our three characters, each of them was perfectly summed up in the first 10 minutes. The 75 minute run time is perfect for this kind of movie but if writer/director’s Dan Berk and Robert Olsen would have spent less time on the set up and more time on the execution, Body would have been a lot better.
Another thing about Body that might turn some people off is just how much one has to suspend all thoughts of reality. By that I mean some of the decisions made by the girls in the latter half of the movie are insane. But, this movie travel’s down a dark path that genuinely made my skin crawl so if I have to force myself to believe an off the cuff rash decision in order to get that feeling so be it., I liked
It might seem like I wasn’t a fan, but I liked Body. I think it’s a solid first effort for duo Dan Berk and Robert Olsen. They have their hearts in the right place and with a little tweaking they could actually make a name for themselves. Though if I could make any particular suggestion I would get a different perspective when writing female characters. The girls in this movie, while made believable by the actresses, are very clearly female characters written by men who haven’t figured out writing women yet.