Director: Jonathan Levine
Writers: Jonathan Levine (screenplay), Isaac Marion (novel)
Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich
Plot: After a highly unusual zombie saves a still-living girl from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion events that might transform the entire lifeless world.
Running Time: 1 hour 38 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 81% Audience 73%
Why I watched it: It’s genre and I like the director but I’ll be honest I dragged my feet cause of the whole comedy/horror thing, when it goes wrong it’s painful.
Random Thoughts: I think Jonathan Levine is an interesting director even when his films don’t work there’s always something positive about them, he takes risks and every film he does is different from the last one. I was worried this was going to be a YA movie where we deal with old teenager problems but I did have faith Levine would put a twist to it.
What I liked it: I’ll say it right off the bat this was a lot better than I thought it would be and the main reasons it was an enjoyable movie was the tone, the direction and the acting all were very good and made this much better than I think it had the right to.
A zombie romantic comedy, never thought I’d write that. I should mention the script is good and it’s so smart to stay true to both genres, you’re dealing with zombies they can’t be treated as a joke,it’s a comedy it has to be funny and the third thing they nailed her is the love story works cause it’s well written and the two characters actually have chemistry.
Nicholas Hoult is good here and I have to say he’s under stated it would have been easy to go over the top but he plays with the fact that he’s a zombie he’s self aware so with that he not only makes the character likable but funny at the same time. It helps he has Teresa Palmer to play off of cause I think she’s so underrated, she can do drama, comedy and genre and not miss a beat, she’s pretty but she’s likable and again she doesn’t scream or yell she gives a nice performance that could have been just the love interest role. The acting on the whole is solid and almost every character has an arc, even secondary characters are fleshed out.
One of the things that surprised me at the center of this film is heart, this is really a story of being human and how caring and loving makes us human, it was touching to see zombies be able to human themselves back to life, it was a nice little touch to everything and really that’s why I liked this film as much as I did cause they did a lot with what could have been a throw away story.
What I didn’t like: There’ only a couple of things nitpicks really. I like short running times but I do think at times this movie went too fast, I would have liked more beats between big emotional set pieces, time for the two main characters to fall in love. Dave Franco didn’t work for me and his character could have been written out and he wouldn’t have been missed, I know why he was there but it’s the only misstep for me. The other thing is the CGI for the “bonies” there the evil zombies and the CGI was not great and it kind of took you out of the movie.
Final Thoughts: Well written, acted and directed this was a very pleasant surprise.