With the house and all these characters coming in and out of the picture, do you rely heavily on your education and experience in the stage?
I think it really helped me decide at a certain point, because this is just my second movie. Of course, coming to America is very scary like, “God, I have to prove myself here in another language.” I just do “Instinct”, and that comes entirely from my crazy brain. Then I did a TV show, “Red Light”, that emanated from my frantic brain. So I’m not used to working with an idea that wasn’t originally mine. When I decide to completely make it my own and have no regrets about it, I want it to be about group behavior, and I want it to be primitive, and are we beasts or are we civilized? The killer inside us or outside of us?
All of those elements really made me feel liberated when I accepted, “Okay, I’m going to take this idea of young people and a game, and I’m going to completely make it a game.” something that I want to see.” While hopefully funny, at the same time, I hope there’s also a darker undercurrent about human nature and who we are in today’s technological age? How do we communicate, and how do we exclude everyone and include everyone, cancel the culture and all the things that we are struggling with every day?
Your first American movie was very American.
I know. I also think, we invited Sarah DeLappe to work on the script with me, and it was amazing, and she is, of course, very American. She comes from the same background as me, from the theater. She is a playwright. I think our union, we talked about it yesterday, actually, at the premiere, it was love at first sight. I thought I knew I came from a completely different culture, and I was going to make a movie about class differences in America. I realized that if I had been born here, my life would probably have taken a very different path, because I grew up with hippie parents.
They think it’s cool to have no money. They don’t like money, but I have access to everything, because it’s just the socialist government that we still have. Here, of course, I discovered that you can’t really get that kind of education that easily, and that’s still valid. To me, I was like, “Are you kidding me?” But of course that’s a very important theme in our film, and in that sense, it’s very American.
That’s why Bee (Maria Bakalova) feels like the right protagonist. Most people will identify with her. You can feel really out of place among the rich and in a house like that.
Yes, and the gap between rich and poor around the world is growing like crazy. You see when we scouted the house, I mean, I saw some metaphors for greed, and these mansions are crazy. I think we all feel like aliens sometimes and don’t belong, or with any group, whether it’s a religious movement, or a political group, or a club. sports, or a group of friends and groups is just scary and scary. Of course Bee thought, “Oh my God, they’re all beautiful, and they talk so fast, and they’re so funny and ironic, and I don’t know what to do.” But at the same time, within half an hour, we discovered that they were all lost, they were all lonely, and they all hated themselves. They all have a very complicated relationship with their own bodies and their own souls.
For me, the horror idea of this movie is, people don’t think about you as much as you think, but if they do how?
Yes, I like that. For me, horror is all that, because of course, this is not a classic horror movie. I felt the terror like, to me, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” It’s one of those movies that we watch as a group in terms of acting style. It is also a horror movie. It’s psychological horror, a couple that almost destroys each other with a younger couple watching them. It’s fun to watch, but it’s a mental horror. I feel spiritual horror is my horror more than any other form of horror.
Yes, it’s the claustrophobia of, “Oh my God, I’m stuck with these people.”
Exactly, and that’s actually scarier, in a way. What I also find worth mentioning is that in the end Bee really wanted to look at his phone and was obsessed with text messages. It’s jealousy, it’s like the green monster appears instead of, like, “Listen, there’s corpses everywhere, let’s talk about that.” I think it’s very human – facing death, facing war, facing people starving, we all care about these little things. I think it’s just our way. We are, in that sense, also a little pathetic.
https://www.slashfilm.com/962114/bodies-bodies-bodies-director-halina-reijn-on-her-inspirations-and-lighting-with-cell-phones-interview/ Bodies Bodies Bodies Directed by Halina Reijn on her inspiration and lighting with mobile phones [Interview]