2015 Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill
Cooties is a film with an extremely simple premise but it makes the most of it's unique setting and highly entertaining characters.
The plot centres around a primary school set in a small American town in which a bad batch of chicken nuggets ends up turning all the children who attend into rabid tearaways. The virus is passed on through bites and scratches but doesn't seem to affect the adults thus pitching a war between teachers and the pre pubescent undead.
There is a great cast of characters amongst the school faculty, Rainn Wilson providing the most laughs as the overly macho P.E instructor. Elijah Wood did a great job as the main protagonist and it was a real joy to see him in another horror film. Wood has proven himself as a real staple in the genre since appearing in 2012's Maniac as well as the 2014 crime/horror Open Windows and I look forward to seeing him in more roles. Although the majority of the cast played horror movie tropes of some kind, they all brought their own flare to the characters making them funny and likeable.
The rabid kids themselves were a formidable foe, they were weak as individuals but once they attacked in a group the results were horrifying! The gore effects and make up were pretty standard, some scenes looking slightly worse than others but no major crimes committed here. The action is mostly slapstick style gore and it was a good balance between comical and gruesome. There were a good balance of quiet creeping moments which were often followed by all out chaos. One particular scene in which two of the teachers had to creep through air vents while one of the zombies rides around on a tricycle gave me flash bakes to The Shining and really had me on the edge of my seat.
Cooties biggest strength lies in its humour, as a film it is smart, relevant and has some brilliantly quick jokes that you really need to pay attention to in order to appreciate their genius. From the opening credits which put me off chicken nuggets for life, to the comical jab at Elijah Wood's character for resembling a Hobbit made the film for me. The end scene and playground battle was the smallest epic finale I had seen in years and was a brilliant final act.
As a horror/comedy Cooties is up there among the greats, it has charm, heart, gore and laughs. All these elements are brought together wonderfully to create something die hard horror fans and the casual crowd alike can enjoy. I put money on this being a cult classic in years to come, make sure you catch Cooties this year!