'R' is one of the walking dead. He grunts, walks stiffly, eats brains.. and has a surprisingly thoughtful and articulate inner dialogue. He sees Julie when a team of humans seeking medicines are attacked by the undead, and is immediately drawn to her. He guides her to safety, where he shows her kindness and protects her. But as a relationship between them starts to develop, some strange changes begin to happen to R.
Warm Bodies is a strange mix of genres, combining horror, romance and comedy. A romcom between a zombie and a living person? It shouldn't work. And to be honest, I had no interest in watching this movie when I first heard about it, because I was expecting it to be terrible.
I loved it.
It had the expected zombie apocalypse mythology, but added a twist or two of its own. Like when the undead eat brains, it enables them to experience the victim's memories and feel 'human' for a short time. And it gives the zombie point of view, through R's (often amusing) voiceover. The special effects are pretty good. The skeletal 'boney' zombies are clearly CGI, but they are effective enough not to spoil the experience. There were references to other horror films, such as Braindead and Zombie Flesheaters, and several elements allude to Romeo & Juliet (characters' names for example, and there is even a balcony scene!)
The acting overall is of a good standard. Nicholas Hoult (from About A Boy and Skins) gives an amazing performance as R, making him sympathetic and likeable using mostly facial expressions and body language. The humour is warm and witty, with a great script. Most importantly, I really cared about the characters and what happened to them.
Zombie movie purists might not approve of this film bending a few of 'the rules' or the addition of comedy and romance. But if you can get past that, I thought it was an interesting and fresh approach to the genre. I enjoyed it far more than I expected to, and thought it was an entertaining, funny and charming little film. 4.5/5