Wednesday, September 23, 2015

[Review] Cooties

When we were younger, we all were exposed to the rumor of boy and girl germs that went by the name of "cooties." Elijah Wood stars in this campy gorror comedy that takes the concept of cooties and makes it a real threat, while twisting in some zombie genre tropes.

It's Clint's (Wood) first day as a summer school substitute, and the kids are absolute assholes. As if things weren't already bad enough, there's a rampant cooties outbreak about to occur. During break, Clint casually says "One of my students tried to eat another one's face off, how is your day going?" The virus spreads as the kids go around scratching the shit out of each other during recess, turning into rabid and teacher-eating havoc-mongers. An all-out frenzy ensues as Clint and the remaining teachers try to survive and put an end to the nasty virus.

The film's loopy tone and offbeat humor is immediate, and there's some amusing turns from the supporting cast: Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, and Jack McBrayer. Some self-reflexive comedy sets in when the gym teacher yells at Elijah Wood's character, "Why don't you just sneak around like a little Hobbit..." The film is filled with goofy lines of dialogue, sight gags, and b-movie guts galore. There's also a pretty damn cool looking laser-lit funhouse scene during the climactic sequence.

Cooties drags out its thin premise a bit, and the film might not be crowd-pleasing enough to possess the potential cult appeal that it probably wants, but it's an entertaining viewing for this horror season, especially if you're tired of the serious glum of shows like "Fear The Walking Dead".


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