75 min | 2015 | (USA) | Dan Berk & Robert Olsen
An independent film that premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2015, Body is written and directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen and produced by Last Pictures. Body was released to Video on Demand on December 29 and is definitely worth watching.
Body traces a rather familiar plot—reminiscent of Shallow Grave (Danny Boyle, 1994) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (Jim Gillespie, 1997)—but it utterly transcends and transforms that plot in its development of character, its superb acting (by all four main characters), its allegorical depth, and the beauty of its ending.
Three twentysomething friends—Holly (Helen Rogers), Cali (Alexandra Turshen), and Mel (Lauren Molina)—are hanging out on Christmas Eve playing Scrabble, drinking, and smoking pot when Cali comes up with the idea of crashing her “uncle’s” house. Once the friends are there, reveling in its wealth, it comes out that the house isn’t Cali’s uncle’s house after all but the home of a family she used to babysit for. As the friends are about to leave (Mel and Holly aren’t happy about Cali’s deception), a man (Larry Fessenden) comes in, alerted to something’s being amiss by the many blazing lights. As the friends rush past him to get out, Holly inadvertently knocks him down the stairs. The friends’ elaborate plan to explain his dead body to the police goes awry when they realize he is not, in fact, dead—merely paralyzed. As they struggle with what to do, deep and finally deadly rifts emerge among the friends.