Zombie films have held a cult following for a long time. From “Night of the Living Dead” to “Zombieland“, there is a wide variety to choose from. Every once in a while a film comes along that re-imagines a genre in its own unique way. “Warm Bodies” does this for the Zombie brand.
Infused with comedy and romance, Jonathan Levine’s film tries to pull in a bit of Rom Com with the world of the flesh-eating living dead. R (Nicholas Hoult) is a Zombie who is struggling with being a Zombie. He wants more out of his existence than walking around, dead. He has friends that he almost has conversations with, which are more just a series of grunts. There are a band of humans, including Julie (Teresa Palmer) who are out to destroy the zombies. When R gets a look at Julie, he can’t help but actually feel for her. In fact, he develops so much feeling for her that his shouldn’t-be beating heart, starts beating again, and he begins to come back to life. Julie’s dad (John Malkovich) tries to convince her that the Zombie’s can’t feel, and they can’t heal themselves. Julie and R are out to prove him wrong.
This was one of those films that I went into with low expectations. I love Zombie films, but was unsure of what I was headed into. I was, however, surprised when I came out of the theater discussing the film with my friends, all of us expressing a thumbs up review.
I felt at points that the film really slowed down almost to the point of boredom, but I think it was necessary. The characters of R and Julie develop through these times alone, talking with one another. It picks up in a few key moments when they are trying to escape from the humans as well as the Zombie counterparts (which are even more dead than they are) that are trying to eat the humans as well.
This film really found a niche that can’t be labeled with a genre, and that is part of the appeal. Although there are some scenes that may impact the squeamish, there is a good deal of comedy and romance as well, that will speak more to that audience. I won’t give any spoilers here, but I will say that this film is worth seeing.
– David B. Harrington