Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cooties (2015)

Directors: Jonathan Milott, Cary Munion
Notable Cast: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Leigh Whannell, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Nasim Pedrad, Ian Brennan, Jorge Garcia

Cooties was one of the twenty films sold out at this year’s Fantasia Film Festival which is usually a very good indication of a great time. This actually was a film where I had tempered my expectations, simply because I haven’t seen anything but the movie’s poster. This only proved as an advantage more than anything else as I was entertained quite thoroughly!  Cast members of the horror comedy include Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, and Leigh Whannell, who were perfect for their roles and were definitely right for the comedic, politically incorrect, and bloody flick at just a little over an hour and a half. This also happens to be directing duo Jonathan Milott and Cary Munion’s first feature and if this is any indication, hopefully there will be more films from them to come.

Cooties follows Clint (played by Elijah Wood) who comes back home to his measly run down town of Fort Chicken, hoping to take the time to write his first novel. This is of course until a teacher gets sick at the local primary school which results in the hopeful writer to fill in as a sub. What he doesn’t know (as well as the rest of the teachers) is that the school’s chicken nuggets are contaminated and something is just not right with the children. When Clint enters the teacher’s lounge, we are introduced to our main cast of teachers which include an openly gay man, a socially awkward sex ed teacher, and your typical asshole P.E. teacher. Up to this point, Cooties could have simply moved forward as a comedy instead of veering into horror territory considering the inclusion of Rainn Wilson (The Office) alone. The pacing proves to be no challenge however and the transition to the violent and infected children wrecking havoc on the helpless teachers seems to happen in no time.  There’s no need to worry about the rest of the run time to be filled adequately either.  While the film sports some great practical effects with some gnarly looking children, Cooties’ strong point is by far the humor. One can only imagine Whannell and Brennan laughing up a storm while writing the screenplay. The humor even finds itself with some unapologetic politically incorrect content, but not in abundance. You could tell that this was not a film written with nosy producers demanding too many changes as it seems to be catered quite clearly to the genre audience (especially with the necessary inclusion of a Lord of the Rings joke). 

Most viewers might find themselves comparing the film to its successful predecessors Shaun of the Dead and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. In the spectrum of previous efforts, Cooties won’t be left forgotten with duds like Lesbian Vampire Killers and Boy Eats Girl but it might not be heralded as a classic either. The film will probably find itself more akin in quality to flicks such as Severance or Doghouse

In the end, there isn’t much really negative to say about Cooties. Other than the janitor Mr. Hatachi, who could have been introduced much earlier, Cooties was a laugh-fest from beginning to end. With horror lovers Leigh Whannel and Elijah Wood, maybe we can reassure ourselves that the best horror films, even the funny ones, are made by fans for fans. Grab some popcorn and some soft drinks and don’t forget to take some tissues with you as well because Cooties is both hilarious...and infectious! 

Written By Elise Holmes

Elise Holmes is not your average writer. Dedicated to her Evil Dead fan site The Deadite Slayer, she is doing Fantasia Fest coverage this year for Blood Brothers! Check out her site HERE

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