Film Review: WARM BODIES (2013) – directed by Jonathan Levine

Posted: February 6, 2013 in Film Reviews
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WARM BODIES (2013) - directed by Jonathan Levine

Let me first begin by assuring doubters that Jonathan Levine’s WARM BODIES is not TWILIGHT with zombies. Though I have to admit that Teresa Palmer looks like a dead ringer for Kristen Stewart.

I love zombie movies as much as the next guy, but let’s face it, if there’s a sub-genre in horror that’s in dire need of an enema, it’s the zombie one. The undead mythos has been exhumed to death with no real sign of innovation in sight.

That is, unless you’re an avid reader of horror.

Those among us vociferous readers have known all along that there are many new directions to take the zombie genre in and chief among them is placing the audience in the head of one of these flesh-eaters. David Wellington’s MONSTER ISLAND trilogy is an excellent example of this going so far as having his main zombie pontificate in Dostoevsky-esque inner monologues, giving us, the reader, some real insight into his character and what it’s like to be on the other end of a zombie apocalypse.

As far as where Levine’s film stands in all of this, I was smiling the whole way through. The film plays very much like a David Wellington novel, albeit with a heavy emphasis on romantic comedy conventions.

The script is smart, the soundtrack is very eclectic and the production designer did a bang-up job turning my hometown of Montreal into a post-nuclear war zone.

There are some lapses in zombie logic, particularly if you’re a longtime fan of the genre. For instance, it’s long been established that zombies are brain-dead creatures who wander around without rhyme or reason. Now while I was able to swallow the fact that our hero, R, was able to utter some words, when his friend starting driving around in a car, and perfectly I might add, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at how silly that was.

But overall, the film is sweet and whimsical. And while it may not go down in history as being a horror masterpiece, it may be looked upon as the film that launched an “Undead New Wave” of films featuring angst-ridden zombies who will hopefully keep their shirts on and not glow in the daytime.

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