Body (2015) – Dan Berk & Robert Olsen

 

Screening today and again on Thursday at the Slamdance film festival is this taut, tightly written and paced thriller starring three talented young women, Helen Rogers, Alexandra Tushen and Lauren Molina.

It’s the Christmas holidays and three BFFs, Holly (Rogers), Cali (Tushen), and Mel (Molina) are hanging out and trying to figure out what to do with their night, apart from sitting on the couch, drinking and smoking up. Cali comes up with an idea, and they all pile into the car and head out for a night that will change all of them forever.

They end up at an empty mansion, Cali claims belongs to her uncle, and they decide to party it up in the lap of luxury. Things seem to be shaping up very nicely for the girls, until the unexpected happens, a stranger shows up, and after a confrontation, takes a tumble down a flight of stairs, breaking his neck.

At this point, the girls have to decide what to do. Do they confess to trespassing, which may ruin lives with its fallout, or, do they create a cover story and hang the dead body out to dry, creating a story that protects them and incriminates the dead man.

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But things definitely do not go easily, as the film thrusts itself not only into the moral and ethical implications brought on by the circumstances, but puts the leads through the emotional wringer. Co-directors and co-writers Dan Berk and Robert Olsen have crafted a fantastic and engaging thriller, that I only have one real complaint about it, it’s too short. Running a swift 75 minutes, the film was over just as I was settling in and really enjoying myself with it. Still, I would be hard pressed to find somewhere to expand any of the moments. It’s a sleek, intense thriller, and rockets along.

Each of the leads is wonderfully cast, and come across as people as opposed to stereotypes which could easily have happened in a film of this nature, and they have a wonderful chemistry together and watching the way they change and interact with one another as the film progresses. There are a number of wonderful beats, no moment, scene or emotion is milked, everything is raw, and concisely edited.

This one is a sharp, highly enjoyable thriller that doesn’t waste time and grabs the viewer from the get-go. I don’t want to share any more than the basic plot details I’ve given above, because the twists, turns, and revelations are a lot of fun on their own, and the less you know going in, the more enjoyable the film is!

For those of you at Slamdance, check this one out, for the rest of you, keep your ear to the ground and should the opportunity present itself, check it out!!

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