'Warm Bodies' gives audiences a zombie to root for

(Photo Courtesy of UpcomingMovies) (Photo Courtesy of UpcomingMovies)

Pitchforks: 3/5

Rated: PG-13

Releases: Feb. 1.


Featuring an amiable heroine, a mind-infesting disease and quirky narration, “Warm Bodies” gives audiences that heartwarming, feel good zombie movie they’ve always wanted. The irony in this alone makes it a movie worth seeing.

In a post-apocalyptic America, humans are living in a walled-up city hiding out from roaming plagues of zombies and revolting skeletal creatures.

A young zombie played by Nicholas Hoult who goes by the name “R” (the only part of his name he remembers from his pre-zombie days) is camped out at an airport over-run by other zombies. After growing hungry for human flesh and brains, he and his zombie friends set off in search of fresh meat.

The zombies in “Warm Bodies” are slow-moving blank creatures who spend most of their days wandering about meaninglessly, repeating the activities of their past lives. As opposed to fearing the zombies, audiences are given a more grotesque creature to hate: the bonies. The bonies are what happens to the zombies as the disease worsens; they are feral and driven by a constant need for human meat.

When R stumbles across the human Julie (Teresa Palmer), it is love at first sight. After eating her boyfriend (Dave Franco), he takes her hostage and tries to make her see his humanity while protecting her from the bonies and other zombies. Together they discover there might be a possible cure for the disease: love.

There are some hilarious scenes of R trying to impress Julie with his limited zombie vocabulary and her struggle to understand life in the zombie world. Most of the movie is narrated through R’s human-like inner voice. In a comedic twist, audiences feel sympathy for the flesh-eating monsters; they are simply misunderstood creatures driven by an unfortunate need for brains.

While the movie is altogether charming, the plot is rather weak. The backstory is underdeveloped, and audiences aren’t given an explanation as to how the zombie infestation started. When Julie’s boyfriend is eaten, she expresses little sorrow, and it isn’t clear why the relationship was strained.

“Warm Bodies” also makes an all-too obvious grab at a certain demographic. With a sound track including Bon Iver and M83, we have to wonder if the “Indie” theme is a little overdone.

Nevertheless, R and his band of flesh-eating corpses give a likeable performance. “Warm Bodies” shows a romantic and funny side to the monster that is permeating our popular culture — and it’s just in time for Valentine’s Day.


Reach the reporter at newlin.tillotson@asu.edu.

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