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The Ending Of Bodies Bodies Bodies Explained

"Bodies Bodies Bodies" turned out to be one of the best reasons to go to a movie theater this past summer. The surprise hit is a Gen Z centric take on the classic teens trapped in a cabin in the woods slasher formula. Acting as equal parts horror, comedy, and social commentary, the movie delves into the psyche of a generation raised online. This English language debut from Dutch director and actress Halina Reijn is a tale of misdirection for the Tik Tok age.

When Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) is invited to a Hurricane Party at an isolated mansion by her rich childhood friend David (Pete Davidson), she brings her new girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova) along for the ride. The other young 20-somethings in the group are David's girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), and friends Jordan (Myha'la Herrold) and Alice (Rachel Sennott) — as well as Alice's much older new boyfriend Greg, played by a hilarious Lee Pace

After the group decides to play the murder mystery game "bodies bodies bodies" in the house, the storm hits hard and cuts off the power. In the fallout of this chaos, David is found dead, his throat slit by a sword, and the game turns deadly and real. Twisting and turning up until the end, "Bodies Bodies Bodies" leaves its best trick for last with its shocking ending. This is an ultimate guide to the ending of "Bodies Bodies Bodies" explained — so beware, there are spoilers ahead!

David did it all for a Tik Tok

When the movie to a close, the final twist reveals that there wasn't a killer after all. Instead, after everyone else is dead, Bee is faced with the question of Sophie's trustworthiness. The sun is coming up on a new day, and the two protagonists are finally faced with the truth.

In order to check her texts, Bee demands to see Sophie's phone but they inadvertently pick up David's device. It's here where they see a draft of a Tik Tok video David took off himself trying to open a champagne bottle with the sword — a move Greg successfully pulled off earlier in the night. The video shows David causing his own accidental death while trying to open the bottle, fatally slashing his neck by accident and dying instantly. The entire night was a result of one man's ego and toxic masculinity. 

As it turns out, there was no killer in "Bodies Bodies Bodies." This is the film's final trick and the one that ties its commentary and themes together. Turns out it was just a stupid popularity stunt that set the whole snowball effect into motion. David's need to impress his followers didn't just cause his own death, but led to the deaths of his friends as well. This speaks to just how strained the relationship between these characters were in the first place.

The ending was inspired by a Chekhov play

The ending of "Bodies Bodies Bodies" is a subversive take on the slasher genre. Not only does it break convention, but it uses that to reinforce what the movie is saying with its characters. The anti-climax at the end is important to the kind of story director Halina Reijn is telling. In an interview with Mashable, Reijn said that at its core the movie "is about actual group pressure, and it could happen to all of us."

But this kind of ending wasn't purely Reijn's idea. In fact, she was inspired by one of the all-time great playwrights — Anton Chekhov. Reijn took the idea from the Russian writer's "Three Sisters," originally published in 1900. In the story of Chekhov's play, three sisters in a provincial town long to return to the city of Moscow. Despite this being a common thread running through the play, the sisters never actually make it to Moscow, in the vein of "Waiting for Godot." In the same sense, the characters in "Bodies Bodies Bodies" are constantly obsessed with finding out who the killer is... but at the end, it is revealed there was no killer the whole time, rendering the characters' concerns, conflicts, and worries pointless. Another point of comparison between the two works is that there are characters in "Three Sisters" who are mentioned but never seen, which is also a recurring gag in "Bodies Bodies Bodies."

So what was up with Max after all that?

There is a running gag throughout the movie where the characters make reference to their other friend who is supposed to be staying at the cabin. Max, as they keep reiterating, is nowhere to be found, to the point that "where is Max?" becomes a common refrain from the movie. While he arrived at the house, he left at a certain point to go for a stroll and for some inexplicable reason never returned. That is, up until the very last scene of the movie.

After discovering David's death was accidental, Sophie and Bee are standing shocked outside the pool. It is this moment when Max (played by off-beat comedian Conner O'Malley) decides to stumble onto the property after being absent for literally the entire movie up to this point, and then it ends. Max showing up is the final punch line to the long-running joke that "Bodies Bodies Bodies" had been setting up for its entire run time.

In addition to being a punchline, Max's presence in the movie gives the group another potential identity for the "killer." The sneaking suspicion that maybe Max was a conniving slasher villain the whole time is pervasive, but his appearance at the end allows the audience to finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Sophie and Bee's relationship will be forever changed

The snowball effect of David's Tik Tok antics led to a night filled with paranoia and murder. On the other side, only Bee and Sophie (oh, and Max too) stand alive. But given the events that just transpired its safe to say we don't quite know where their relationship will go from here. It will be forever changed, but will this experience force them to break up after seeing the worst sides of each other? Or will they be doomed to keep each others secrets unspoken for years to come?

One driving point of the story is Bee's investigation into whether or not Sophie cheated on her with Jordan. Bee finds evidence of this and the final thing Jordan asks her to do is check Sophie's text — which we never see happen on screen. So, even though it seems pretty likely that Sophie was being unfaithful, the reality is left open to the viewer's interpretation. Regardless of where you see it going next, the conversations that happen aren't going to be pretty. 

The men are killed off first

In slasher movies, there are usually rules and reasons that certain people die first and others are saved for the end. Any "Scream" fan worth their salt can recite to you the traditional rules horror movies follow, but "Bodies Bodies Bodies" establishes its own methodology. In this killer-free slasher, director Halina Reijn decided that wasn't the only convention she wanted to buck. Early on, the director figured out that the men would be killed off first.

"Bodies Bodies Bodies" has an almost entirely female cast, a point emphasized even more by the early deaths of both male characters. David is the first to die, and Greg isn't much far behind. They are the only two characters that don't get to survive until the bloody climax. This was on purpose, as the director told Variety.

"We wanted to say something, in a playful way, that the men need to die first," Reijn said, "the cause of death is male toxic behavior and competitiveness. It truly exists, but it's also extremely, darkly humorous."

Was Alice's death an accident?

Rachel Sennott's performance as Alice was one of the most praised aspects of "Bodies Bodies Bodies" (via LA Times). The annoying, overbearing podcaster Alice is an encapsulation of the worst stereotypes about women of her generation, but Sennott, a phenomenal performer, makes the character funny and likable. When tensions are running high, Jordan reveals that she hate-listens to Alice's podcast which leads her to give a nasty retort and begin insulting Jordan. This results in an angry Jordan shooting Alice in the leg. Alice jumps on Jordan, leading to a scramble for the gun, which ultimately goes off and shoots Alice in the throat.

Alice's death is certainly one of the more ambiguous in "Bodies Bodies Bodies." In the chaos of the struggle, it is difficult to ascertain if she was killed by accident or if someone shot her on purpose. In the same interview with Variety, Reijn gave viewers some clarity on this scene. She confirmed that it was an accident, but conceded that doesn't mean nobody is at fault. "I honestly think the gun went off and none of them really know," Reijn said, "but if anyone is guilty I feel it was Jordan."

This makes perfect sense when you watch the movie. Of course, the gun went off by accident, but if Jordan hadn't tried to press Alice's buttons, it's possible that they would both still be alive.

What's the significance of Sophie's relapse?

A big part of Amandla Stenberg's character of Sophie is that she's recovering from a personal battle with addiction. At the start of the movie, Sophie is sober, but all her friends are aware of her substance issues in the past — specifically with cocaine. Knowing this would tempt Sophie but not caring, the selfish gang still brings coke and other drugs to the house. This immediately brings into question the validity and strength of these character's seemingly unbreakable bonds. Moreover, Sophie's addiction allows the others to hold her trauma over her head and use it to control her. 

By the time Sophie relapses, she has been broken by the events of the evening — specifically watching Bee beat Greg to death with workout equipment. She starts using again and relapses in the middle of the night. While all the characters in "Bodies Bodies Bodies" have their flaws, Sophie's addiction is treated more as a weakness. The character is not punished with death for using drugs in the way a typical slasher might assign morality to the choice. Instead, Sophie's relapse shows just how traumatic the events of the movie are.  

Is Sophie responsible for Emma's death?

After Sophie starts using again, Emma walks into the room. Emma awkwardly kisses Sophie and then gets high with her. Later in the film, Emma is found dead at the bottom of the stairs. The group starts to assume that somebody must have pushed her, which immediately places the blame on Sophie and Bee. In reality, when you put the pieces together after the twist, it's pretty clear that Emma just tripped and fell down the stairs — but, in a roundabout way, Sophie is the one responsible for Emma's death. 

By giving Emma drugs, Sophie puts her friend in a state where she was not functioning at her full capacity. What most likely happened is that Emma was very inebriated as a result of the drugs, which led her to clumsily fall down those stairs. No court would convict Sophie for killing Emma, but there were two people making choices in that room that led to Emma's death. Sophie is at least partially to blame for one of the most avoidable casualties of the night. 

Was Jordan telling the truth?

On the face of things, Jordan is the meanest character of the bunch. She is deeply suspicious of Bee and Greg (the strangers in the group) from the start, and she successfully hides her status as the killer in the game of "bodies bodies bodies" from everyone else the entire night, which obviously makes her a prime suspect. Of course, there is no killer, and Jordan is just extra paranoid — and ironically, she eventually is killed by Bee. While Jordan is fighting with Sophie at the top of the staircase, Bee rushes in to save her girlfriend and pushes Jordan over the bannister and down to her death. 

Lying on the ground, body shattered, Jordan tells Bee to check Sophie's phone one last time with her dying breath. We never do quite find out if Jordan is telling the truth. This ambiguity is a key part of the character, since as the viewer you never really know if Jordan is a liar who is trying to stir up trouble or the only one who sees things as they actually are. Even once the credits roll, you are left wondering whether or not Jordan was telling the truth.

There was originally a killer in early drafts

Despite the ending eventually becoming the lynchpin of "Bodies Bodies Bodies," the slasher didn't always pack that final punch. The story didn't always end with the reveal that there was no killer after all; in fact, that development didn't come until late into the script writing process. While the film's final script was penned by Sarah DeLappe, the original story was based on a spec script written by Kristen Roupenian. She had a slightly different ending — or endings — in mind for "Bodies Bodies Bodies."

In an interview with Mashable, Reijn revealed that there was a killer in Roupenian's early drafts. In fact, with each consecutive draft the killer would change. This process eventually led to the script being handed off to Reijn and her team, where the ending was re-examined and changed. According to the interview it was a combined effort from the story department and production company A24 that eventually led Reijn and DeLappe changing the ending to the more subversive one that made it to the final cut.