Movie Review: COOTIES (2014)

Last night was the LA Premiere of the much anticipated horror/comedy Cooties.  I first heard about this movie a year ago while I was in Orlando attending Halloween Horror Nights and had watched the trailer shortly afterwards.  I was excited for the movie based off the trailer, but I’m always optimistically cautious as I have been burned in the past with horror/comedies. When I was approached to attend the premiere, I had no reason to say no and I wanted to see if the movie would deliver.  I’m happy to say, Cooties rocked my fucking sock off.

Synopsis of “Cooties” via IMDB:

A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages.  An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.

Shannon’s review

Making a movie that balances both horror and comedy is not an easy feat.  If you can pull it off, you end up with great movies such as Cabin in the Woods and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.  If you don’t pull it off, you end up with movies such as Zombeavers.  Cooties was able to pull off the humor (and a few scares) as well as massive amounts of gore to a T.

Cooties tells the story of Clint (Elijah Wood) a down and out horror writer from New York who has returned to Fort Chicken, Illinois to live with his mom while he substitute teaches for the summer, and essentially get his act together. When Clint returns to his old school for the first day of summer classes he runs into an old classmate and now teacher, Lucy (Alison Pill), her boyfriend, gym teacher, Wade (Rainn Wilson), and the rest of the summer school teachers – Tracy (Jack McBrayer), Doug (Leigh Whannell), Rebekkah (Nasim Pedrad) and the Vice Principal (Ian Brennan).

We are shown in the opening sequence that there has been a contamination at the chicken farm that the town is named after – which has led to a contamination of chicken nuggets which causes a virus to spread to children when ingested.  And this, ladies and gentleman, is how we get Cooties. Directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion do not hold back on the gore or violence that is shown throughout the film, but instead of making you turn your head in disgust, they film it in a way that makes the whole ordeal bearable and humorous.  Sure there are intestines and decapitation and body parts being flung around but it’s totally fine because it’s absolutely so ridiculous that you have to laugh.

Rain Wilson and Leigh Whannell stole the show as the gym teacher and the socially awkward teacher who has a genius level IQ.  It was great to see Rainn Wilson as a totally different character than his character on “The Office” and he held my attention through the whole movie.  I think he’s an underrated actor and I really hope he gets the attention he deserves because he delivered like the mothafuckin badass that he is.  Leigh Whannell – I have been a fan of his for years and his character, Doug, was incredible and his dry humor was on point.  This is not the Leigh Whannell from the Saw movies – this is Leigh Whannell showing us that he is more than just the Saw and Insidious movies. He’s extremely funny and is able to steal the entire movie with just a few lines.

All in all, all the actors – including the kids – were great.  The humor was non-stop, the blood and guts were everywhere, and for the first time in A LONG TIME we finally get an original horror movie.  Here is my final rating for Cooties:

Story/Concept: 2
Direction/Style: 2
Scares: 1
Atmosphere: 1
Rewatchability: 2

TOTAL: 8/10

In conclusion I HIGHLY suggest checking this movie out when it hits theatre’s September 18th.  This is a horror movie for everyone as I’m pretty sure my mom would even like this movie.  Most importantly, go support this movie because it’s an original idea – something that is seem seldom in Hollywood.

Till next time, stay creepy!

Shannon McGrew
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