Screenplay: Jonathan Levine (based upon the 2010 Warm Bodies novel by Isaac Marion)
Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Bruna Papandrea
Release Date: 1st February 2013 (USA)
Running Time: 98 minutes
Upon release Warm Bodies was given a PG-13 rating. As such, this zombie-romance comedy is not half as harrowing as some of our other Zombie Pit living undead film and TV recommendations, such as The Walking Dead, but it still includes plenty of ravenous zombie hordes, brain-munching scenes and gun-toting militia fights that may not be suitable for younger viewers. However, with its overriding comedic theme and heart-warming spin on conventional human-zombie relationships, Warm Bodies is a good introduction into the horror genre for viewers who are looking for a little gore, a good dose of action and a lot of laughs!
During its opening weekend in February 2013 Warm Bodies earned $20.3 million and went on to return a worldwide box office of $116.9 million; not bad for a film with a budget of $35 million! In addition to these substantial global box office returns Warm Bodies also received positive reviews from a variety of online and offline film critics.
For instance, Warm Bodies received an 81% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes and 3 out of 5 stars from Digital Spy who described the film as;
“a truly deadpan romantic comedy…a witty reinvention of the genre like Shaun of the Dead before it, drawing parallels between the apathy of youth and the zombie masses…Hoult gets to deliver a wickedly dry voiceover”.
Warm Bodies even received praised from notoriously harsh film critic Roger Ebert who revealed that;
“I kinda love this movie.’Warm Bodies’ is a well-paced, nicely directed, post-apocalyptic love story with a terrific sense of humour and the, um, guts to be unabashedly romantic and unapologetically optimistic. A lot of zombie movies have heart — but usually the heart ends up on someone’s plate. Cheers to “Warm Bodies” for taking us in a different direction for a change”.
For his role in Warm Bodies Nicholas Hoult won the “Choice Movie Breakout” award at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. Warm Bodies was also nominated for numerous additional “Choice Movie” awards at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards as well as being nominated for the “Saturn Award for Best Horror Film” at the 40th Saturn Awards in 2014.
Based upon the 2010 Isaac Marion novel of the same name, Warm Bodies introduces you to a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested Earth from the perspective of R; an introspective member of the living dead. Whilst out scavenging for food with some of his fellow zombies, R encounters Julia Grigio and her group of human survivors. As soon as he sees Julia, R feels compelled to protect her and in so doing sparks a unique, heart-warming and frequently hilarious relationship unlike any other that you have seen before. Can R embrace his human side once more? Should Julia trust a zombie? Will their relationship prove strong enough to overcome the terrifying threats of “Boney” zombies and will they succeed in broadening the mindsets of human survivors towards the possibility of a union with zombies? There’s only one way to find out!
Portrayed by Nicholas Hoult, R is a far cry from your averagezombie! Not content with his life as a brain-dead zombie, R continues to contemplate his existence, the past lives of his fellow zombies and strives to try and remember who he was before he became a member of the living undead. Although the fact that he is driven by his hunger for flesh and can only remember the first letter of his name, R also possesses many human qualities; such as a love for music and the ability to have intelligent, introspective thoughts. After meeting Julia, R is also shown to be kind, protective, and potentially capable of rising above his zombie compulsions and reclaiming his human side.
Witty, strong-willed and highly resilient when placed under pressure, Julia Grigio is a human survivor of the zombie apocalypse who is portrayed by Teresa Palmer. Julia’s mother sacrificed herself to save Julia and her father from zombies when Julia was merely 12 years old. Ever since this harrowing incident Julia and her father, Grigio, have become increasingly hardened and emotionally distant; although Julia has retained her sense of humour. It is this compelling wit alongside her fiery nature that Julia and R to one another and which sparks a relationship that could dramatically change the course of both human and zombie existence.
Portrayed by Rob Corddry, M is an older, wiser zombie who lives in an abandoned airport with his best friend R. Unlike other zombies, M is more intelligent and has somewhat retained the ability to speak. It is through these strained grunts and groans that he first forges a friendship with R. These two zombies often go hunting for humans together and M is one of the members of the zombie horde who accompany R when he first meets Julia.
The ‘strong silent type’ could well describe M, who as a zombie is incapable of saying much but he does seem to do a lot of thinking. He observes R and Julie together and the effect their relationship has on the other zombies. These ponderings prove instrumental in the survival of R and Julie. When communication with Grigio’s army becomes necessary, again it is M is left to M to do the talking.
Julia’s father, Grigio, serves as the leader of a survivor’s militia group who have sought safe haven from the all-encompassing zombie apocalypse within a stadium inside the city walls. Portrayed by John Malkovich, Grigio is a strong leader who devotes all of his time to training soldiers, reinforcing the defences of the city walls and keeping his militia group alive. However, ever since his wife sacrificed herself to save him and his daughter from being killed by zombies, Grigio has become cold, distanced from his daughter, and has adopted a fierce hatred of the living undead. Before the apocalypse Grigio was an ardent musician and full of hope but these days he has become despondent and uses whiskey to quell any remaining emotions that he may feel.
Portrayed by Dave Franco, Perry Kelvin is Julia’s boyfriend and a member of the stadium militia group.
When supplies are low, Perry and Julie and the rest of their group, go on scavenger missions outside the safe area in order to restock.
Through Perry’s interaction with R we learn that Perry suffered a crisis when his father died at the hands of zombies.
Since this incident he has lost his optimistic nature and instead has become increasingly focused on just killing as many living undead as possible. These altered personality traits have strained his relationship with Julie and the two are seen arguing whilst out on a risky mission to acquire medical supplies.
Nora Greene is Julie’s best friend and is portrayed by Analeigh Tipton. As another member of the stadium militia group she accompanies Perry and Julie on their missions outside the safe area in order to restock supplies.
Despite having to develop a hardened exterior in order to survive the zombie apocalypse, Nora remains optimistic that one day she will be able to train to become a nurse. Her ambition is to help others, transform the world into a better place and lead a happy life. It is this positive attitude that enables Nora to agree to meet R at Julie’s request. Once over the initial shock, she views him with curiosity, bombarding him with direct questions. Nora is capable of keeping an open mind about Julie’s proclamations that zombies can change, which is in stark contrast to the belief’s held by all the other survivors.
Also referred to as ‘Skeletons’, Boneys are terrifying skinless creatures without eyes, ears or any discernible human features. It is explained at the beginning of the film that all zombies eventually become Boneys once their flesh has completely decayed. These skeletal creatures are feared by both humans and zombies due to the fact that, in R’s own words “They’ll eat anything with a heartbeat”. In fact, unlike zombies who still retain some semblance of their human selves, Boneys lack any moral compass and are solely driven by their need to feed. Extremely aggressive and incredibly light on their feet, the Boneys are the main antagonists of Warm Bodies.
Warm Bodies Books
Warm Bodies Music
Warm Bodies Verdict
If you have been looking for a bloodcurdling zombie-action fest then Warm Bodies may not be the living undead flick for you. However, if you have been searching for a light-hearted spin on conventional zombie-human relationships then this film is ideal. This charming zombie romance/comedy bears several character allusions to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet but intersperses these traits with a quick wit, an entertaining plot and a catchy soundtrack. As such, Warm Bodies is a thoroughly enjoyable film that you will want to watch time and time again due to its funny, compelling and uplifting nature!
What’s more, if you watch Warm Bodies and still hunger for more tales from this zombie infested reality then you will be happy to hear that Isaac Marion has written and released a prequel novel to Warm Bodies entitled The New Hunger. Moreover, Marion has also announced his plans to write a Warm Bodies sequel which, if we’re lucky, could one day be adapted for the big screen like the original!