Amandla Stenberg Talks Her Concern About The Bodies Bodies Bodies Ending, And How The Script Addressed It

Halina Reijn’s edgy thriller Bodies Bodies Bodies has been a pleasant late-summer excursion for moviegoers who want attitude and style injected into their horror experiences. Set during a hurricane party, where the attendees play a game that involves artificial murder, the movie is riding high on positive reviews (like the one that we wrote for it) and generating strong word of mouth. Part of the reason why Bodies Bodies Bodies is so satisfying is because it’s a whodunit mystery that has a very satisfying ending baked in, so once you finally – as an audience member – figure out what really has been happening in that darkened mansion, you leave wanting to head back in and see the movie again, to search for any indications or clues. 

That ending, and the possibility of it not landing with its full impact, concerned Bodies Bodies Bodies star Amandla Stenberg when she signed on for the movie. But during a press day for the A24 movie, the actress you might know best for her part in The Hunger Games opened up how her concerns were eased as she read through the movie’s screenplay. She told CinemaBlend how she felt reading that ending, saying she was:

Completely shocked. Also, hopeful throughout the story that the ending would culminate in something like that. And then really deeply gratified because I think that the ending so encompasses the satirical nature of the whole story.

It’s true. Bodies Bodies Bodies walks a difficult tightrope of suspense and comedy, asking you to follow along as members of the party – including The King of Staten Island himself, Pete Davidson, and Borat standout Maria Bakalova – start dropping. A killer allegedly is on the loose, eliminating threats. And all of the characters start spiraling into a tornado of mistrust. Will anyone make it out of the party alive?

When Bodies Bodies Bodies director Halina Reijn came on CinemaBlend’s official podcast, ReelBlend, she elaborated on her process of arriving at the ending for the movie, and how it justified the nihilistic approach she wanted to take toward the material. Because to her, there was a deeper emotional commentary happening in the story, and the ending (without spoiling anything) embraced that mood. Reijn explained to ReelBlend:

I think when we came up with the idea for the ending, that absolutely excited me. To me, the ending is the key, for me personally, into the whole film. When we thought of the ending, that's when I knew I could do this. That's when I knew I could actually make it my own and not betray what I built my whole life to be, which is, you know, darkness. I wanted in the end to say something hedonistic almost about and nihilistic about life, because I feel we're all gonna die. And that's an absurd thing! We know we're all gonna die, yet we sit here, we dress up, we go through the motions, you know, war is happening, people are dying, and it's crazy. So I feel the ending was just a great idea.

If you haven’t yet made it out to the theater to see Bodies Bodies Bodies, put it on your radar. It’s a wildly entertaining ride that will keep you guessing right up until its final frames, and you won’t leave disappointed. And if you dig on horror, bookmark our list of Upcoming Horror Movies and plan your trips to the movies accordingly.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.