A dark thriller in the Shallow Grave vein, Body keeps a tight rein on its small cast and simple story, letting its strong performers and sharp writing do most of the hard work. It opens disarmingly funny, with a game of Scrabble and an embarrassing dad wearing sunglasses indoors. It doesn't stay that way though; like the underrated Stuart Gordon feature Stuck, the film reaches some surprisingly dark places at times, particularly as the film and its characters first begin to make their modus operandi known.
To say much more would be to spoil the surprises of a well-crafted, intelligent little psychological thriller with more than a few tricks up its sleeve. Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen and Lauren Molina carry their roles well, being sympathetic and likeable for the most part... until it's time for one of them to not be. Caught in the middle of all this, Larry Fessenden does well with not a lot, letting the women tackle most of the heavy lifting and brutal in-fighting.
The story goes dark and tends to stay there, but there's always a sense that it could go further and be more unpredictable, if it really wanted to. That sense of restraint holds Body back from greatness, its moments of true darkness making its relative predictability elsewhere feel all the more disappointing. As oh-shit-there's-a-dead-body movies go, it's fine – it could just do with a bit more meat on its bones, is all.
BODY / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: DAN BERK, ROBERT OLSEN / STARRING: HELEN ROGERS, ALEXANDRA TURSHEN, LAUREN MOLINA, LARRY FASSENDEN / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 31ST