You are Here » Reviews » Review: Warm Bodies
February 1, 2013

Review: Warm Bodies

— Posted by Ryan

Director: Jonathan Levine
Written by: Jonathan Levine (screenplay), Isaac Marion (novel)
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich
Genre: Comedy | Horror | Romance

Synopsis: After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.


Twilight with Zombies?

Warm Bodies seems to be the zombie version of Twilight with a (thought to be) evil male lead (Hoult) falling for a girl that resembles a blonde version of Bella (Palmer) from her facial expressions to her awkward mannerisms. The film even comes from the same studio (Summit Entertainment) as Twilight. When taking into account all of these factors, it builds a preemptive expectation that this film will be the zombie version of Twilight. So is this film just a Twilight clone that substituted vampires with zombies? No it is not. While it shares the similarities of having a supernatural love interest and his incessant need to protect her, the film’s subtle and dry comedic moments make the cheesy dramatic elements much more tolerable and sometimes very enjoyable.


Apart from the Twilight comparisons, the film had a plot that made it its own. The comedy and drama were inconsistently spread throughout the film but in a good way. It kept me on my toes by not letting me focus too much on the drama or too much on the comedy, which could have spoiled the film if it had to rely on just one. For me, it felt like just as it was getting too serious they threw a little humor in to reset my focus and remind me where my focus needs to be. I enjoy when a film like this gives the audience direction because this film is not a thinker and the audiences’ hands should be held throughout the movie telling them how and when to feel. At a purely entertainment level, the plot is enjoyable and the character interaction between the leading roles is interesting. It kept my interest the entire time as I wondered how their relationship would develop and how the main character, R, would evolve as a zombie. With other zombie films we don’t see the possibility of them adapting to live among humans which brings a new “what if” element to this film in regards to the zombie characters we know.


For the overly critical zombie lovers (myself included), I would say that there a quite a few moments that you could get a bit critical on. The main thing that I immediately noticed was the ineffective “zombie walk” that has been done in so many zombie films but disappointed me in this one. The film opens with R (Hoult) walking in a manner that is more like a tired man than a zombie. I would have initially chalked it up to it just being this film’s definition of zombies, but as you can see in the trailer the zombie mannerisms are inconsistent as they have a dead walk one moment and a “tired” walk the next. Not only do the zombies have inconsistent movement, they also have the knowledge to operate things such as doors and small mechanical things. This makes me think of them more as cavemen than zombies. My suggestion for the audience would be to not go into this film being excited about zombies and a post-apocalyptic world, because this film’s definition of zombie is something different than what we’re used to.


Zombie or caveman?

Overall I liked this film. Despite my critical nature towards the zombie aspect and pseudo science behind zombies, the film presented zombies in a unique way that has not been done before. This film’s concept of a post-apocalyptic zombie world is interesting and stands out among the rest while providing some key laughs and unique characters creating an overall enjoyable film.

Warm Bodies - 7 out of 10.

An interestingly funny take on zombies

This post was written by :

who has written 290 posts on The Movie Blog

First and foremost, Ryan Brown is a fan. He has been an avid fan of both the theater and cinema since an early age and his passion for both has been continually growing ever since. When dissecting a film, he focuses on all elements of film-making including some fan/cult factors. He believes that character development is the foundation of a good film and usually starts his analysis of a film from there moving forward. His writing style may be influenced by his background of narrative and argumentative studies in the subject, but he tends to enjoy a more conversational style to better interact with the readers, unlike some other pretentious and pompous writers.

| Contact the Author

6 thoughts on “Review: Warm Bodies

  1. “For the overly critical zombie lovers (myself included), I would say
    that there a quite a few moments that you could get a bit critical on”I would be more interested in an opinion from a zombie hater like myself. I’m sick of zombie crap - I think it’s about the stupidest waste of time in the world. Yet I was intrigued when I saw this trailer, and thought that maybe I’d just go check it out.

  2. Caught this film at a late show. Found myself really, really enjoying it, so much I’d probably score it a 8-9/10, that being my own opinion. Warm Bodies was completely light-hearted and fresh - it was fun to see things from the perspective of a zombie, flipping the script so to speak. I didn’t get the ‘Twilight’ vibe at all and frankly I don’t think it’s even appropriate to give Warm Bodies that type of comparison. An almost modern day Romeo and Juliet set in a post-apocalyptic world with zombies, that’s what it is.
    It’s smart, well paced, well directed and just enjoyable. I loved the how the flashback sequences were treated, normally films always give us scenes within movies we’ve seen already as a retelling. Instead we got a real sense of nostalgia to how the flashbacks, memories, dreams were shown. They simply had character and exploration. Suffice to say what we know of zombies in other films plays a bearing in Warm Bodies, but Warm Bodies also says simply - we don’t. And that’s the angle it works with.
    Overall, well worth the admission price. Oh and the soundtrack was kick ass.

    • Elliot Hopper It was definitely a surprise, but 8 or 9 would still seem a little high for me, but I can definitely see it affecting others in a way where they might score it that high.
      The Twilight reference actually came from the buzz surrounding it around the web. Many were expecting this to be Summit’s version of Twilight to keep the momentum going.
      I actually had a lot to say about this film that would be very long winded if I put everything into the post. The soundtrack was very good, I’m glad you mentioned it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Around the Web
"Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

— Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump from Forrest Gump, 1994


    • /Film
    • FilmSchoolRejects
    • First Showing
    • Greatest Films
    • MTV Movies Blog
    • Screenrant