Cooties (2014)

Director: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Writer: Leigh Whannell, Ian Brennan
Cast: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Leigh Whannell, Nasim Pedrad, Ian Brennan, Jorge Garcia, Matt Jones, Peter Kwong
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 19.9.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Clint (Elijah Wood) has reached a low point in his life. He had to move back in with his mother and instead of working on his novel, he has to start earning money working as a teacher. Things seem to be looking up when he realizes that Lucy (Alison Pill) is working with him. But that hope is quickly squashed: Lucy has a boyfriend, Coach Wade (Rainn Wilson). Oh, and the children in the school are turning into bloodthirsty zombies, which is also not really great.

Cooties was a thoroughly entertaining film, pretty much the epitome of a horror comedy. It has excellent pacing, a suitingly black sense of humor and an infectious energy (no pun intended) (or maybe I did?).


Neither the story nor the characters redefine the genre. But in its strict adherence to genre norms while at the same time not taking them seriously at all, lies a lot of the film’s charm and its entertainment factor. They all play parodies of themselves and the genre and it works beautifully.

There is only one thing where the film slightly deviates from the usual genre rules: the love triangle is not really resolved. I have to admit that I didn’t mind that lack of resolution. (I even wouldn’t have minded if there had been no triangle in the first place, but I can live with it.)

cooties1Of course when you have a solid cast like this one here and a script that hits all the right notes and is full of hilarious one-liners, nothing much can go wrong. In both cases Leigh Whannell is responsible for much of the goodness (at least I assume that his part in the script writing was productive – in the acting department, I know for sure). His unexcited portrayal of a character who is so much over the top as Doug was already great, but with his dry delivery of some of the lines, he really cinched the deal. “Oh look, carnage” will stick with me for a long time.

But I don’t think the audience is alone in having fun with the film. I suspect that the children playing the zombies had a blast as well. Who hasn’t dreamt of violently ripping apart their teachers and eating their brains? Of chasing adults and biting them into submission? Isn’t it nice that they got to live that experience?

Alright, I’m only half-serious here. But so is the film.

cooties2Summarizing: Great fun.

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