Monday, March 28, 2016

1PanelReview Cooties

When you think about Elijah Wood, you probably immediately think about Frodo from the Lord of the Rings series, right?

Well me, personally, I think about that kid that has been in a few favorite horror films of mine since The Faculty (and who would have played the perfect live action Peter Parker in my eyes).
When there's no more room in HELL, these reviews will walk the BLOG:

What it is: Cooties 

Which is: An independent horror comedy/zombie film
Directed by: Cary Murnion & Jonathan Milott
Year: 2015

Co-directed by Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott, Cooties is 2015 indie horror comedy film that first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January 2014. The film had been in developed for a pretty long time and before being picked up by a distributor they even completely changed the ending of the film resurrecting a fan-favorite character for a funnier more upbeat ending. The film stars all my favorite people in the business: Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer, Jorge Garcia, Nasim Pedrad and Leigh Whannell.

Elijah Wood had a long history with horror films, a genre he always loved since forever. Working on big budget blockbuster films allowed him to launch his own film production company SpectreVision with directors Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller in 2010. They produced a couple of fun horror films so far including Open Windows and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

Cooties takes place in an Elementary School, after a bad batch of chicken nuggets causes the outbreak of a disease turning kids into zombies. We follow this wannabe writer turned substitute teacher who gets the chance to finally see this girl he had a crush on now dating a PE teacher, when things suddenly turns for the worse...
What's Good about it: Cooties is a pretty fun and unique zombie film. Because it has such a fun, colorful and outbeat tone for an horror film. And also because it simply features kids turned into zombies because of some bad chicken nuggets. That's a fairly unique and hilarious premise!
Our hero was happy just writing (bad and cheesy) horror stories, now he finds himself living through one! Elijah Wood plays this role so well! Our protagonist keeps annoying everyone mentioning his life back in New York, and the fact that he's a writer.
We have such a great cast of characters here, all kind of goofy in their own way. The teachers are all pretty fun, from Jack McBrayer's hilariously cartoon performance to Jorge Garcia's always-stoned guard. The always-lovely and funny Alison Pill is great. And Rainn Wilson also completely steals the show in my eyes.
The film goes through all the usual rules of the genre in a smart way, our teachers try to barricade themselves, isolate the infected, etc.
There's nothing really new to the genre here genre, there's already been a few zombie children in the past, but here it all just feels so fun and fresh. The tone of the film is great! Playing off the usual horror tropes. There's a lot of humor too.
It's also gore, but not as over the top as I expected. But it's still pretty brutal despite featuring children! Sort of the same type of tone we've seen from these light horror comedy zombie films we've seen a lot since Shaun of the Dead, like the underrated Dance of the Dead or Zombieland
The film is kind of dumb but it knows it. The premise is fantastically hilarious! And it takes that premise fairly seriously. It's just a really fun movie with an oddball cast of characters.
And believe it or not, this horror comedy actually comes from the mind of the creators of Saw and Glee (!!!).
The movie knows when to be just tense horror and gory or when to simply be funny.
The characters work really well and support this entire film.
All in all, it's a fun lighter play on the current zombie craze. If you're bored of all these Walking Dead wannabes and whatnot, this film is a nice breath of fresh air for the genre.
The film also has a pretty awesome score, courtesy from Belgium musician Kreng. Producing some fun sounds with a mix of electronic and classic elements, it's very cinematic!

What's Bad about it: Cooties delivers on its premise... if you can actually enjoy this type of film. This is neither a comedy nor a horror film, but really a product of the horror comedy genre. I know for a fact this won't be everyone's cup of tea.
Once outside the school the film does seem to stroll off its original concept. Personally I wish we could have gotten more out of that part, but it also feels like a different film up to the point.
Which is the outcome of a radically different ending from the original one aired at Sundance. Basically that new ending was a last minute addition to bring back a character.
Speaking of characters, I kind of wish we could had more of Jorge Garcia's, he's the only character we don't get to see much of really...

Overall: Cooties is a really fun infectious horror comedy film!

A really fun take on zombies, and one of the funniest offerings of the genre I've seen in a long while! It's not the best horror comedy film ever made, but it's great!

Due to the zombie children we have here, everything's exaggerated, exaggerating the usual tropes. The kids are completely covered in blood and rabid! It's funny-scary!

The kid actors and the adults all seem to be having so much fun, taking us along for the ride on this absurd adventure! Recommended!
I give it: 2.5 / 3!

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