The director of Bodies Bodies Bodies shares how Gen-Zers’ addiction to TikTok helped inspire the film


Warning: This article contains minor spoilers.

Halina Reijn wasn’t on TikTok before directing Bodies Bodies Bodies. But shortly after joining the social media app to explore Gen Z and youth culture, she became hooked.

“It didn’t really appeal to me before the film, but now… I’m hooked on it,” Reijn said.

The obsession with TikTok partly helped fuel Reijn’s passion for the film, which hits theaters on Friday.

The film follows a group of social media obsessed young adults (played by Maria Bakalova, Amandla Stenberg, Pete Davidson, Rachel Sennott, and others) who get stuck in a mansion after a raging hurricane drains their energy. To entertain themselves, they decide to play a game (same as the movie’s title) in which a designated killer “kills” someone by tagging them, leaving it up to the remaining players to determine the culprit (Think : a real version of “Between us“). Panic and chaos ensue when one of them turns up dead.

Reijn said she wants to explore the language of how Gen-Zers define themselves today with TikTok and other social media platforms – and what happens when the same identities become weaponized.

“When I was young, when I had a panic attack, I tried to hide it. I wouldn’t even know what word to use for it,” said Reijn. “Now we live in a time where we have access to so much information.”

She continued, “Everyone knows all of these words and has all of this vocabulary, but are we really communicating? Are we really looking at each other or through a screen?”

This question is palpable throughout the film, which rarely features a scene without a phone.

“It’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ meets ‘Mean Girls,'” Reijn said. “‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ was a great vehicle to actually create a screenplay that deals with group behavior and human nature: is the killer outside or is the killer inside?”

As the night progresses and the remaining survivors investigate their friend’s death, suspicion is sown and relationships fractured. And without electricity or mobile network, what is left?

“A beast,” says Reijn. “We all have a dark undercurrent in there.”

Regardless of age and identity, Reijn said she also hopes the film reveals something “more animal, raw and honest” about human nature — and that it spurs viewers on to heed his warning: stop using your phone.

“We’re all so addicted to our phones,” she said. “We’re not really in the moment, we’re not really looking at each other and we’re not really looking at what’s going on in the world.” The director of Bodies Bodies Bodies shares how Gen-Zers’ addiction to TikTok helped inspire the film

Fry Electronics Team

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