Warm Bodies: Twilight, with zombies


(Graphic by Lena Yang)
(Graphic by Lena Yang)

Warm Bodies is just like any other romantic comedy: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy eats her boyfriend’s brain, girl falls in love with boy.

Jonathan Levine — who most notably directed 50/50 in 2011 — wrote and directed this film that is based on a novel by Isaac Marion, and it presents a whole new take on zombie culture.

Eight years after an outbreak, a young zombie falls in love with a survivor and vows to keep her safe from his own kind. They form a close relationship and because of it he becomes more and more human, and her prejudices of the undead change.

The zombie enthusiast, screaming “zombies don’t do that!” wouldn’t seem like an outrageous thing to do during this film. Our main character “R” (played by Nicholas Hoult, also known as the weird little kid in About a Boy) thinks, opens doors, plays records, punches and kicks humans and even speaks.

It’s a pretty disappointing portrayal considering how well known zombie culture is, and how much it has changed to illicit laughs from the audience.

It’s also a risky move to alter the biggest characteristics of the zombie mythology at a time when it is so prevalent in pop culture. Levine took a risk, and it had the potential to benefit him, but the execution of it proved to be a failure because it is impossible not to compare the film with other zombie movies and television shows.

Warm Bodies is to zombie culture as Twilight is to vampire culture. They take a much-loved myth, change everything we know and love about it, but set it to a kick-ass soundtrack.

Though the content of the film is more appropriate for the same thirteen-year-olds who swoon over Edward Cullen, the cinematography is beautiful and the music is well chosen. The soundtrack borrows tracks from M83, Feist, Bon Iver, among other indie favourites.

These aspects of the film make it slightly harder to dislike it entirely, but don’t completely make up for the fact that it is a love story between a girl and a corpse who ate her boyfriend. Not so romantic.

In theory this film could have been really well done, but it falls way too short.

The humour is easy and superficial, and the only memorable aspect of the film is how ridiculous the undead are in comparison to what we are used to.

If you are a thirteen-year-old you’ll probably enjoy the film. But if you have seen any movie or TV show about zombies and are looking for a gory fix to hold you off until The Walking Dead comes back, you’re going to be disappointed.

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