I love this poster for Cooties, it’s just a shame I didn’t really like the film as much as I hoped I would.
I went to a special screening of this indie flick and while the trailer had me sold, the end result is a disappointing film that really struggles with the balance of horror and humour.
Starring Elijah Wood, Alison Pill and Rainn Wilson, Cooties is a comedy horror set in a school where the children become infected with ‘cooties’ (American slang for germs) and they become violent, murdering, zombies.
Wood plays budding writer Clint who takes up a job as a substitute teacher at a middle school as a way of making money while he works on his first book.
Rainn Wilson is Wade, an obnoxious typical gym teacher and boyfriend of Alison Pill whose character Lucy was a one time crush of Clint’s.
It’s up to them and a small group of oddball teachers to survive against the Cootie infection.
The film starts off well, it’s quick to get to the action and Wood does a good job of playing a writer desperate for feedback as displayed by his enthusiastic suggestion that his first class listen to the first chapter of his book. The rest of the cast are fine but no real stand out characters or performances.
The Edgar Wright style quick cuts and the bright and colourful shots are a wonderful juxtaposition against the gore and violence. A sequence of macabre playground games, eyeballs uses as marbles for example is a highlight.
The problem is, halfway through it loses some steam and from then on stumbles towards what feels like a rushed ending.
I feel like Cooties is a missed opportunity. It’s a fairly generic zombie film that doesn’t use its own twist on the genre enough, it relys on the zombies being kids as enough of a hook; it isn’t.
A few laughs and some good gore but overall I felt Cooties was a letdown.
Cooties is released on the 12th of October.