Complete A-Z list

Warm Bodies


Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer,John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, Cory Hardrict

Director: Jonathan Levine

The 12A certificate gives it away. Warm Bodies may be a zombie picture but the shambling corpses who populate the post-apocalyptic world and its live populace conjured up by writer-director Jonathan Levine (from a novel by Isaac Marion) don’t really qualify as scary.

Actually it’s a pleasing blend of comedy, romance and shocker.

Nicolas Hoult, now grown-up and no longer resembling the cute kid from About a Boy, shambles convincingly as Zombie R who is given to moaning a great deal about his plight and summing up his discontent with “I’m not sure what we’re all waiting for”.

He discovers what he’s waiting for when he saves human Teresa Palmer (yet another Australian actor seeking a career somewhere other than Down Under) from a zombie attack and instead of eating her brain, he takes her back to the passenger aircraft in which he lives. And life or, rather, death suddenly has a purpose for Hoult when he falls in love with Palmer…

The film, shot in Canada, creates a convincing world devastated by the mysterious virus that transformed humans into the Living Dead. But here post-apocalyptic horrors are diluted in the service of what amounts – and pretty effectively too – to a revamp of Romeo and Juliet; Levine doesn’t beat the analogy to death but there’s no mistaking his target and, largely, he hits it.

Hoult and Palmer make an attractive couple and John Malkovich hams away happily as Palmer’s ruthless zombie-hunter father; well used Montreal and Quebec locations (cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe) and shockfilm regular, composer Marco Beltrami (with Buck Sanders), add useful atmosphere.

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Entertainment One. Technicolor.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 07 Feb 2013