A teenage zombie finds an unlikely romance with a pretty survivor in this horror comedy.
Based on the novel by Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies is a loose Romeo and Juliet retelling that replaces the Montagues with decaying zombies. It’s more romantic than it sounds. In a post-zombie apocalypse world, Julie lives in a walled-off city with her fellow human survivors, and R the zombie lives at the airport with the rest of his zombie brethren. When Julie is out on a supply run with a group of survivors, they’re attacked by zombies and R abducts Julie and takes her to the airport because he doesn’t want to eat her and he doesn’t want to let her go. Sensing that R is different from other zombies, the two develop an unusual relationship that has many further-reaching consequences than either of them could predict.
Nicholas Hoult as R
If you’ve seen Hoult in The Great, then you know he is a riot. As the narrator of the film, R gets to utilize that delightful delivery that makes this a much funnier zombie movie than you might expect.
Teresa Palmer as Julie
Julie is the daughter of the military commander that sees to the safety of their human settlement. She has a complicated relationship with her father but is maybe the only one who can make him see another side. This movie was my first exposure to Palmer, an Australian actor with amazing hair, who manages to sell the hell out of material, including this, and A Discovery of Witches (an incredibly ridiculous show that I could not stop watching).
Lio Tipton as Nora
Nora is Julie’s best friend and co-conspirator in sneaking around with zombie boys. Previously known as Analeigh Tipton, you may recognize Lio from Crazy Stupid Love, or from their small but pivotal role in this past summer’s Vengeance (which is great, and currently streaming on Peacock).
John Malkovich as General Grigio
Yes, you read that right. John Malkovich is in the zombie teen rom-com. General Grigio is an intimidating hardass with a soft spot for his daughter, but like, a really tiny one that you need a magnifying glass to see. Malkovich probably played this role in his sleep and is completely unaware he was in this movie.
Rob Corddry as M
You will probably recognize Corrdry from his stint on The Daily Show, or The Rock show, Ballers, or any number of comedy shows. M is R’s unlikely ride-or-die bestie. Yes, zombies can have best friends. It’s totally a thing.
Dave Franco as Perry
Remember that time in Hollywood when you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Franco? This was then. Perry is Julie’s boyfriend who recently went through a traumatic loss and idolizes her militant father a bit too much.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Cozy
Warm Bodies is perfect for my fellow cowards who can’t handle horror movies, but still want to celebrate the spooky season. It’s not so scary that you can’t watch it alone or at night, but you can still hang with the undead. You can make it a festive rom-com date night or treat yourself to a cute movie and a bowlful of Halloween candy you don’t have to share.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Boos and Brews
Luckily, this movie is cute enough that booze isn’t required, but let’s just be grateful to not be living through a zombie apocalypse and enjoy having access to cold beers whenever we want them. And while we’re at it, cheers to refrigeration! That invention is just the best.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: No-Brainer
Warm Bodies is funny and sweet, with great actors, and is perfect for fans of rom-coms, zombies, apocalypse survival, and Halloween. There are 31 days in October and if you’re looking to fill every one of them with seasonal entertainment, then look no further. Romeo and Juliet is pretty boring, and dumb. Those kids were so dumb, right? I can’t be the only one who thinks that. This “retelling” is much more entertaining, because duh, zombies. In addition, Warm Bodies fixes that whole terrible ending thing, giving us a warm and fuzzy happily ever after rather than needlessly tragic teen death. You’re welcome for that spoiler by the way. Now grab your bowl of candy and get ready to practice your best zombie grunt.