Jonathan Levine has said in interviews that he hopes horror fans will keep an open mind about this film. He's admitted the film takes liberties with established zombie lore, but the film and the book contribute to the zombie genre. I disagree. The Dead adds something to the zombie genre, because it accepts the general tone and conceit of what a zombie film is and expands it to a new set of circumstances. Warm Bodies does neither.
To continue the Twilight compairison, Warm Bodies has as much to do with zombie cinema as those books and films have to do with Nosferatu or even Shadow of the Vampire. Warm Bodies is a romantic comedy aimed at teen-agers and people in their early twenties. The tension in this story is lifted from Romeo and Juliet, except the warring families are on either side of the grave and not society. Julie (Teresa Palmer) really wants Grigio (John Malkovich), her overbearing warrior father, to accept R (Nicholas Hoult) as pretty much human. R has a love so strong for Julie that the force of it is enough to warm his dessicated heart. This love could redeem all of the freshly undead, if Grigio will see that. I won't spoil how that all turns out, but it isn't Land of the Dead.
|Grigio (John Malkovich) offers unwanted dating advice.|
|You wouldn't guess it, but he really likes classic rock.|
Even with all of these problems, it needs to be said that the special effects are by far the worst part of this film. Or maybe the funniest. The really evil zombies, Bonies, are laughingly animated and produced giggles throughout the theater I was in. This is a PG-13 movie, so there aren't any of the glorious head shots that defined the Romero films and beyond. There's no reason to what will stop a zombie in this movie, as a few body shots do the trick. The end of these zombies is an unconvincing burst of computer animated blood. Yep, blood.
|Warm Bodies, coming soon to a gaming console near you.|
|Yes, Julie, he wears more eyeshadow than you.|
|"Bite me, poseur"|
Article first published as Warm Bodies on Blogcritics.