What would you do if you found the person of your dreams? Their beauty, personality and overall existence gives you a reason to live. There’s just one thing, you’re a flesh eating zombie. “Warm Bodies” takes a tired premise of love at first sight and throws it into an oversaturated genre of horror. What could have been a disaster turns out to be something completely new and refreshing take on the zombie genre.
Following R, a recently deceased zombie, the movie shows a post apocalyptic world of destruction and dismay. The dead have now outnumbered the living, resulting in survivors forming a base within the city. One day, R stumbles upon a group of humans. During the attack, he decides to spare one of them, Julie, as he is struck by her beauty. Over the next few day, his infatuation grows in a very unexpected way.
There’s so many things that can be said about this film, much due to the various genres it falls under: horror, romance, action and comedy. Like many horror films before it, “Warm Bodies” takes a leap of faith by combining multiple genres that have been rarely placed side by side. Released in 2013, height of the zombie craze, it makes sense that this film has a more mainstream feel.
Rather than falling into a chick-flick style film like “twilight”, “Warm Bodies” entertains a variety moviegoers. That isn’t to say that the love aspect is completely ignored. Seemingly inspired by “Romeo and Juliet” we have two groups at odds, the zombies and the humans. It’s very much a carbon copy of previous romance films, but still sheds light in a very new way. The interaction between R and Julie offer laughter and charm. The film could easily have been a flop, but the two stars, Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer really sell the odd storyline in a way that isn’t too serious but still relatable to a degree. There are many comedy bits that make you chuckle even on second viewing. Cheesiness is hard to avoid in a movie such as this, but for those who accept the unusual won’t be bothered by such minor details. It does a great job of the guy who wants to impress the girl out of his league. You really start to root for R, even if it is a little creepy. This of course is aided by amount of depth we get on the zombies.
Typically you only see zombies as a body of hunger and carnage, but “Warm Bodies” goes much deeper into the mythos of the creatures. For example, R has inner dialogue that serves as his voice to the audience. Just because he has no memory of his past doesn’t mean he is a stale character. You really begin to feel for him as he wanders through his daily routines. This is put into motion when zombie and social worlds collide. . Charming moments, like R doubting himself for his poor posture and pale skin resonate with current times, giving him personality even when his face is so bleak and lifeless.
Just because romance is involved doesn’t mean the horror element is left in the dust. Early on, it’s understood that some zombies are transformed into what are called Boneys, skeletons with no recollection of human consciousness. The design looks as if these skeletons have been thrown into the pits of hell with their charred colors, and dark sunken eye holes. Unlike the zombies, which run only with prey in sight, the boneys are quite agile and movie in a very inhuman like way.
“Warm Bodies” does have your share of scares and rhetoric, but if you are expecting your top of the line scarefest or thought provoking writing that’ll reevaluate your life, you’ll be disappointed. Horror films in general aren’t always about being the best product out there, but rather a creative process that emulates what has inspired the creator in the past, and fuels imagination for the future.