Boy meets girl. They fall in love. Circumstances conspire to tear them apart until they overcome their obstacles to be together. Sound familiar? Yes well, the story is a bit different when your one true love is a zombie. Who recently ate your (now ex) boyfriend’s brain.
Enter Warm Bodies, director Jonathan Levine’s new zombie horror/rom-com. A film that combines the awkwardness of young love with an added difficulty: one partner is dead.
Adapted from the 2011 Isaac Marion novel of the same name the movie stars Nicholas Hoult as R and Teresa Palmer as Julie. R is a zombie who spends his days in an abandoned airport lamenting his current situation and wondering about his former life, when he isn’t eating human brains.
The zombie apocalypse has forced humans to reside inside a walled city to protect them from being eaten or infected by the zombies who roam outside. On a trip outside the walls to gather medicine for the city’s inhabitants Julie and her friends are attacked by R and his zombie companions. Here R meets Julie and saves her from the other zombies as he falls in love. Eventually his love for her starts to bring him back to life (aw). It turns out that witnessing and feeling love resurrects the zombies and the majority of them begin to come back to life.
The story is an interesting concept that works well. The film does use the rather familiar, and let’s be honest, overdone boy-meets-girl concept but makes it fresh by adding some great dry humour and gore. The love story gives the film heart and is the underlying thread of the film. The presence of brain-eating zombies prevents the film from becoming too sentimental.
The lighting in the movie reflects the story line; it is quite dark at the beginning but becomes brighter as the film progresses. Flashbacks are almost fluorescent bright to contrast the happier times of the past against the bleak present. Music is used effectively in the film, particularly in the scenes where Julie and R play old records that he has collected from his trips to the city outskirts.
It is well-acted throughout though lead actress Teresa Palmer unfortunately reminds me of Kirsten Stewart by using the same facial expression for the whole film. Nicholas Hoult is spot on as R, employing just the right amount of heartless zombie and awkward teenage infatuation. His voiceover provides some of the funniest moments of the film. Analeigh Tipton is particularly humourous as Nora, Julie’s best friend.
The ending is rather predictable but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is an enjoyable film that manages to be funny, horrifying and romantic all at the same time. Well worth a trip to the cinema.