Directed By: Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion
Starring: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Morgan Lily, Jack McBrayer, Jorge Garcia, Peter Kwong, Nasim Pedrad, Ian Brennan, Leigh Whannell
Synopsis: A deadly virus infects grade school children, turning them into flesh eating maniacs.
Thoughts: It’s a safe bet to say the majority of horror fans are getting tired of the overwhelming amount of zombie, and zombie-like movies being released. For the record, I see “infected” movies as the third generation of zombies. If you look back to the 30s, zombies were the result of voodoo, turning people into mindless slaves. George Romero turned the genre on its head by introducing his version, flesh eating undead (although he didn’t originally call them zombies). In 2002, Danny Boyle unleashed 28 Days Later, one of the first infected movies, and likely considered one of the best.
Cooties throws its hat into the ring of infected movies, although with a comedic twist. This time around, a tainted chicken nugget unleashes a virus at Ft. Chicken Elementary, turning children who have not gone through puberty into vicious, flesh eating monsters.
There are plenty of gross out moments in Cooties, starting with the montage of the chicken nuggets journey and the principal getting drawn and quartered on the playground, but there isn’t a lot here that you haven’t seen before. It’s gory, but not to the point that it is difficult to watch for the average viewer. I’ve heard gorehounds say that they were left wanting more, but for me, it was spot on.
The strength of Cooties is, without a doubt, the cast and script. You start with very cliché characters, but they all end up a little differently than you would expect. Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer and Leigh Whannell are fantastic. Whannell’s character was one of my favorite in recent memory. I read in an interview that he played him as having just a little bit of that serial killer vibe in him, but not quite enough to act on it.
If I were to have one complaint about the movie, it would be the conclusion. It seemed rushed, and not quite as thought through as the rest of the movie, but it wasn’t enough to ruin the experience. Cooties isn’t revolutionary, but it is entertaining, which in a genre where we are being inundated with zombies, is refreshing. I recommend checking it out. It’s available now through various on demand services.