Sunday, February 3, 2013

Warm Bodies (2013): Hey, John Malkovich, Leave Those Kids Alone!

The horror bloggers have been weighing in on this one big time. The big question on everyone's mind: Is this Twilight with Zombies? Will this destroy the zombie genre in much the same way that Twilight has slowed the progress of vamp horror? Let's dig in and give the big reveal. It's not the next Twilight though it will certainly appeal to the Twi-Hards. It also isn't a horror movie. There is nothing about this sans the walking dead that makes me believe this to be frightening. It's a Zom-Rom-Com... at least that's what I think I've heard folks saying. Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland were scarier and better, but this one does have heart.


After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, R becomes increasingly more human - setting off an exciting, romantic, and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world.


Who's gonna like it? Twi-Hards (the fans of the Twilight films). These are not bad people or kids who like bad movies. These are kids who believe in love and who Hollywood has seen to market to heavily. It's a PG-13 feature that could have easily played the R card with some gore. Plenty left to the imagination. Romantics will like it. People who like feel good, dark comedies. Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer perform beautifully and have excellent charisma. No one's sparking here.

Who's gonna hate it? Horror fans looking for the next change iteration in the horror zombie cycle. It's not scary. It's not horror. It at least has the Romero zombie feel at times, but it's not about the scare. The only badass evil characters in the entire film are CGI trash animated skeletons that are conceptually perfect, but executed like shite. Harryhausen was doing better work years ago. Remember claymation guys. It would help.

If you want a comparison, a movie or concept that Warm Bodies is similar to, It's Pink Floyd's The Wall with zombies. Emotionally stinted individuals on both sides of the wall trying to reach out. Trying to connect or find understanding and life beyond the near un-interpretable history. It's a stretch. It's a fun stretch. I suppose the rock music score that accompanies this movie might have lead me to this comparison. With a GNR record flashed and a "Rock You Like a Hurricane" "Heroes come out" sequence I got the feeling that our director truly wanted us to pay attention to the rock music. This ultimately is a movie about love and not death and not horror and is socially conscious and wants you to ask important questions about what you value and what society values and how to change that and... I feel that at least in the tradition of the great zombie movies though it may be more obvious than its brothers and sisters in undeath cinema.

One of my favorite relationships of the year.

But did I like it? I didn't hate it. I'm in the middle. It wasn't my favorite movie this year. It wasn't as gory as I would have liked (thinking that it might get in touch with some of the magic from Shaun of the Dead and seeing that copy of the Zombie Blu-ray play a key role in advertising). I was touched. I was emotionally stimulated. That doesn't mean I was cutting a hole in the bottom of my popcorn tub. As a horror fan I was disappointed. The scares were not there. The effects were sub-par and as previously stated the gore was distinctly lacking. The crowd response in my theater wasn't there. I will recommend the core audience above to enjoy it and to seek out this movie's kith and kin. Go explore that Fulci Blu-ray from Blue Underground. Make friends with Romero and his early work. Enjoy the socially conscious zombie movies of years past including The Dead in recent years, Shaun of the Dead and even Document of the Dead. Let this be a jumping off point for the new age of horror fans, but make no mistake... you may get your love story now, but sooner or later we're all watching our baby daddy turn into a zombie in the middle of a shopping mall.

Some funny moments. Good date movie. Plenty of vinyl and Polaroids for all you hipsters.


1 comment:

  1. I love Zombie books and people say this one is awesome so I have to add this too my list! Great review!