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Cooties – Movie Review

Cooties takes a new twist on the zombie apocalypse, children are the new zombies and the summer school staff must survive the zombie onslaught.

Release Date: September 18, 2015
Writer: Leigh Whannell, Ian Brennan
Director: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Cast: Elijah Wood, Allison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Nasim Pedrad, Jorge Garcia, Leigh Whannell

The city of Fort Chicken is the center of the U.S. chicken nugget industry. Unfortunately, a bad batch of chicken nuggets is turning America’s children into cannibalistic zombies. This means trouble for the local summer school staff at Fort Chicken Elementary.

Using children as the target of horror is a tricky task for filmmakers. There is a thin line that has to be walked to create a terrifying horror film versus an offensive movie that makes light of physical violence against children. Directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion successfully walks that line by creating two movies: a comedy and a horror film. Like a light switch, the movie flips back and forth between comedy and horror. The best part is that the comedy portion is laugh-out-loud funny and the horror is horrifically horrible.

This movie could not work if it weren’t for the brilliant cast. Elijah Wood plays Clint, a New York writer returning home to finally finish his horror novel. Soon, we discover that Clint is a horrible writer and is destined to be an elementary school teacher. Alison Pill is the cute teacher, who is caught in a love triangle between long lost friend Clint and her P.E. Teacher boyfriend, Wade (Rainn Wilson). Yes, Wade is the Dwight-Schrute of P.E. Teachers. Before you roll your eyes, Wilson has many brilliant moments throughout the film.

Rounding out the cast is Jorge Garcia as Rick, the drugged out crossing guard. Nasim Pedrad is Rebekkah, the conservative, Christian teacher and hilariously defends teaching Creationism in her class. Jack McBrayer as Tracy, does what does best and plays a version of himself as a teacher.

The best character of the film is Doug, played the film’s writer, Leigh Whannell. He plays the loner science teacher and manages to save all the best comedy for his character. As Wade, Whannell gets to play the creepy science guys, that no one takes seriously and he also gets to perform several autopsies and experiments on the dead children.

Cooties is the perfect blend of comedy and horror. Horror fans will have fun with the storyline and comedy fans will find the humor takes the edge off the moments of horror that may dissuade them from seeing a horror film in the first place.