In a world where film companies are looking for the next Twilight or harry Potter, screen writers have forged through the young adult novels to fuel film fire. We have seen the Hunger Games, Beautiful Creatures, and Mortal Instruments come to life and Hush Hush is coming soon. Some of the aforementioned films can stand alone, but many fail to entertain those who not have read the books. But Warm Bodies translates well as an entertaining and comprehensive film.
This love story centers on a zombie and a girl who tries to kill him. After eating her boyfriend’s brains, he falls in love with her and takes her back to his hideout in the airport to keep her safe. He finds that as his feeling evolve for her, he himself is evolving. He is becoming less zombie like. He must convenience Julie that that he can change and that her father should not kill the zombies-they can change too.
From the beginning of the movie you bond with R, the romantic anti-hero. As he walks through the zombie world, we see this post-apocalyptic world as an allegory for our own as we seclude ourselves from each other with technology. R sees himself and those around with frank, truthful humor. His realization of being a monster makes him all the more real.
It is also novel in the fact that zombies can be cured. Not only is a cure found, but it is very existential cure. No tubes or medicines. Zombies can only be cured through love and emotion. Hate transforms us into monster, and loves makes us human. Who thought that material from a YA book would get this thought provoking?
The make-up for the movie is probably some of the best. Sure there is monster movie make-up, but the amount and kind changes over time. As R is “healed” his makeup changes. His face gets warmer, his lips become less blue, and his eyes become clearer. These are all subtle shifts that slowly make R more human. The technical staff handles this brilliantly.
Nicholas Holt nails the changes in his character. He expertly morphs his walk, pattern of behaviors and speech. These shifts are slow and even; you almost don’t realize they are happening. These subtle shifts allow the audience to grow with R and cheer for him on his quest. Had another actor played R, this transition may not have been so graceful.
Over all the movie is no too creepy or gory proving that zombies don’t have to be disgusting. This romanticizing of the zombies is akin to Anne Rice’s transformation of the vampire. Zombies are clearly mainstream, and Warm Bodies becomes a great date movie for men and women alike. Love story her, zombies for him.