Warm Bodies: a terrific teen romp

FILM
WARM BODIES
Cert 12A
****

The latest from writer-director Joseph Levine (50/50, The Wackness) is a typically off-beat teen movie set in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

A marauding, dull-eyed army of the undead has invaded the world, and an ever-dwindling population of human beings have barricaded themselves in a nameless city. Heavily armed soldiers keep guard, primed to shoot trespassing zombies on sight.

One of these Zombies is R (a terrific Nicholas Hoult). R feels trapped in his Zombie body and grapples with his insatiable appetite for human brains. To make matters worse he’s in love. With a human. Misunderstood, shuffling around in raggedy clothes and tormented by urges he finds impossible to act on – he’s just like any teenager, really.

One moment they’re in a rickety house by the sea, the next they’re playing Joni Mitchell records in the abandoned cockpit of a 747. Levine is happy to leave things unexplained, lending a pleasant dreamlike quality to proceedings. In its best moments, Warm Bodies achieves a Donnie Darko-style otherworldliness.

Excellent supporting turns from Teresa Palmer, John Malkovic and Analeigh Tipton make up for the overly tidy ending.