R isn’t your regular zombie. He’s an introspective “corpse” that happens to have a crush on Julie, a human girl that he has saved and now kidnapped. Inevitably, Julie begins to grow fond of R, and as he begins to grow more and more human they both realize that this may be the dawn of a new era for this post-apocalyptic world.
Based on a novel by Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies tells a great story that manages to mash together horror, comedy and romance into a satisfying mixture. Jonathan Levine (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, 50/50) has confidently adapted and directed a zom-rom-com that takes you by surprise with it’s socially aware commentary and cheeky sense of humor.
At first, I didn’t really buy the fact that this zombie was the way he was. I couldn’t escape the question of why ? Alas, Warm Bodies grabbed me and infected me with its sense of fun. The infectious craziness of it all is thanks to the sure-handed delivery of every scene, in terms of both acting and direction.
Nicholas Hoult (About A Boy, television’s Skins, Clash of the Titans, X-Men: First Class) nails it as this love-struck zombie with a steadily growing heart. He’s a charismatic actor that convinces you of why a human girl would see the good in this zombie. Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four) is very good as R’s object of affection. She convinces as a girl who goes from hating zombies to feeling for them. She reminds of Kristen Stewart, but with with a wider range of emotions. Rob Corddy (Hot Tub Time Machine) deserves a mention too; he brings plenty of laughs to his zombie character.
Levine expertly balances out the horror and the comedy, whilst infusing a level of sweetness into this love story. It isn’t too violent or gory, but there are some cool zombie moments nevertheless. The Bonies (a scarier, more skeleton like, zombie) are a indeed freaky, and a welcome addition to the genre.
If there was ever a zombie flick that you could take your mother to – this might be it. It’s funny, sweet and exciting. And the obvious message of accepting those who are different is handled well, without resorting to preachy clichés.
THE REEL SCORE: 8/10