“Warm Bodies” breathes life into an almost dead genre

– Emma-Louise Kinnaird contributed with this report.

Zombies aren’t exactly the most romantic of supernatural creatures. Bloody faces and the urge to eat human flesh hardly sounds like material you’d take your partner to on a date.

But you’ve never seen a zombie film like “Warm Bodies”, and probably won’t again.

"Warm Bodies" is a zom-com perfect for something different on Valantines Day. Photo: Summit Entertainment, Jonathan Wenk
"Warm Bodies" is a zom-com perfect for something different on Valantines Day. Photo: Summit Entertainment, Jonathan Wenk

In an undead world where humans are on the brink of extinction, R (Nicholas Hoult) is experiencing a post-dead crisis. Unlike the other zombies, he wants something more from life, although he can only express himself through grunts and moans.

When he meets human survivor Julie (Teresa Palmer), R unexpectedly falls in love with her and disguises her as a fellow zombie to keep her safe. After all, it’s not easy to get a girl to like you when all of your friends are trying to eat her.

As Julie spends more time with R, he begins to slowly get better and become more human.

Based on the book by Isaac Marion, “Warm Bodies” has many similarities to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Except instead of star-crossed lovers, it’s a cross-species conundrum.

In any case, zombies would have made “Romeo and Juliet” much easier to study at school.

So, does “Warm Bodies” manage to pull off a Romeo and Juliet ‘zom-com’ without making the undead seem like the cuddliest of movie monsters? Strangely enough, yes.

On paper, the idea sounds ridiculous but, on screen, it works. Even die-hard fans of renowned zombie gore film director George A.Romero will find it offers something slightly different.

Although the plot, posters and trailers are steering “Warm Bodies” towards the “Twilight” generation, have no fear. This isn’t a soppy chick flick; it’s a smart, funny twist on old mythology with enough violence to satisfy purist zombie fans.

Best known as Tony Stonem in the TV show “Skins”, Nicholas Hoult is perfect as thoughtful R who manages to charm the audience despite the heavy make up and bad posture.

With films like “World War Z” due out later in the year, zombies have never been more popular. “Warm Bodies” breathes new life into a dead genre and makes you think about what it really is to be human.

So, if you find yourself arguing with your other half who’d rather see the new “Die Hard” film on a date, try suggesting the latest zombie film offering instead. You’ll be dying to see it.

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