Film Review: Warm Bodies (2013)
Occasion: Date night
The dead walk the earth in Warm Bodies, the story of a zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) who falls in love with a young woman, Julie (Teresa Palmer). R shuffles through undeath with his best friend M (Rob Corddry), communicating with grunts and moans and the occasional word (“hungry”). They encounter ‘Bonies’, emaciated and terrifying ghouls: “We all become them some day”, contemplates R. “At some point you just give up I guess. You loose all hope… this is what I have to look forward to. It’s kind of a bummer.” R knows there must be more to undeath than this. While out for lunch with M and some zombie pals, he meets Julie while eating her dead boyfriend’s brain. Everything is about to change – not just for R, but for all zombie-kind – as his heart starts to beat again.
Clever and cute, Warm Bodies examines what makes us human, while telling a Shakespearian story of young love uniting two warring factions. It reminds us that violence isn’t the only way to resolve conflict; that love can conquer even death.
The film’s main source of humour is R’s internal dialogue, giving the audience apologetic insights into his zombie existence. Hoult is beautiful and awkward as he desperately tries to impress his girl and not “be creepy”. Corddry is delightful as M, his expressive eyes conveying feelings his rotting larynx simply cannot vocalise.
Warm Bodies makes for a fabulous date night film. Not romantic enough or gory enough to make you barf; funny but still sweet; it is a refreshing take on the zombie genre, with a sincerity that would make anyone hesitate next time they’re lining up a headshot during an apocalypse.
Directed by Jonathan Levine
Starring Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry and John Malkovich
Based on the novel of the same name by Isaac Marion