Reviews: Cooties

Mike takes aim and delivers a stellar review of Cooties.

"If we follow this map we can finally
reach Mount Doom."
Over the last few years the zombie movie has become one of the most popular subgenres in horror.  This also means that it has become the most overdone.  The market is flooded with terrible, formulaic zombie apocalypse movies with irritating, one-dimensional characters that bring nothing new to the table.  Truly fresh and interesting takes on the genre are growing increasingly rare, which allows the standouts to separate themselves from the very crowded field.  The latest to do this is the newly released horror comedy Cooties.

Cooties is never above the classic tropes that make zombie movies so popular, but it offers a unique and fun twist.  Our "monsters" this time around are elementary school children who have eaten contaminated lunch room chicken nuggets.  As the virus spreads through the schoolyard, a group of teachers must defend themselves.  And it's a pretty impressive cast; Elijah Wood headlines a group that also features Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer and Alison Pill, among a few other recognizable faces from movies and TV.  Among the cast is Cooties' co-writer and producer Leigh Whannel (who also co-created the Saw films), who turns in a hilarious scene-stealing performance.

There are plenty of hilarious moments in Cooties.  The movie is arguably as much a comedy as it is a horror film, with a concept that lends itself to some very twisted moments.  Some scenes are even downright disturbing, particularly to those with a sensitivity to seeing atrocities committed to, and by, children.  But even in these scenes the movie remains self-aware, fully embracing its ridiculousness and never taking itself too seriously.  The humor balances out the quite well done horror elements, giving its audience the best of both worlds.

Cooties is a special kind of messed up.  Where most horror-comedies fail by being too much of one and not enough of the other, Cooties finds and maintains a successful balance.  This results in a fun and engaging movie that has plenty to satisfy fans of both genres.  Like the virus in its title, Cooties is bloody, twisted, and infectious.  It's also high quality, hilarious fun that's worth seeking out.  If you're looking to satisfy your hunger for a clever, original take on zombie movies, you'll want to catch Cooties.

Cooties is now available on most major VOD services and will open in select theaters Friday, September 25.


-Mike Stec

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