HORROR COMEDY; 1hr 38min
STARRING: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer
In deep: Palmer and Hoult
Not just any old zombie movie, Warm Bodies gives the shambling creepies a soul. Eight years after the usual obliterating plague, zombie R (A Single Man ’s Hoult), his bestie, M (Rob Corddry), and others of their flesh-eating ilk are eking out a bleary existence in a derelict airport. R can’t speak, but as his chatty voice-over reveals, he can think and feel. And when he spots spunky Julie (Palmer) in self-preserving, anti-zombie action, it’s love and then some.
Conventional courtship not being R’s forte, he promptly eats the brain of Julie’s boyfriend (Dave Franco), thereby also ingesting the history of their relationship, then shuffles her off to his airplane lair. “What am I doing?” the broody corpse testily demands of himself, as well indeed he might.
Writer-director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) walks a chancy walk with his adaptation of Isaac Marion’s 2010 novel — a brain-gobbling cadaver with a serious crush doesn’t exactly read like the role of a lifetime, after all. But Hoult makes it work with a shell-shocked stance that mirrors the freakishness of a crazed new world in which death has a fresh definition, hope is eternally elastic and humanity has been strangely reimagined.