One of the best horror-comedies you've never seen, Cooties (2014) is a fun lover letter to 80s horror/zombie movies. Like Final Girls (2015), Cooties' strengths lie in its near-perfect mix of reverence and send-up, with the filmmakers paying tribute to a genre they both love and find silly at the same time.
The plot: A group of teachers get stuck in a school where the students suddenly start turning into cannibalistic monsters (i.e zombies), and they have to do everything they can to survive, including facing their own fears and weaknesses. Saying anymore would ruin the fun for you, as this is a film filled to the brim with funny scenes, surprisingly hardcore gore, and a number of hilarious lines, not to mention a cast (that includes Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, and Leigh Whannell) that seems to be having a blast. The score by Kreng is also retro-synth music at its best.
This is also a rather conspicuous debut for Leigh Whannell as an actor/writer without his partner James Wan, and he proves himself admirably, delivering, along with co-writer Ian Brennan, a script that is original, funny, scary, and memorable.
Even if it is a bit lacking in technical merits - the direction is occasionally too conventional for its own good - this is an energetic, fun, tense, and endlessly entertaining horror-comedy, and a must see for fans of the zombie movies of the 70s and 80s. Unmissable.
N.B. Look out for a great appearance by none other than Peter Kwong (Big Trouble in Little China) as Mr. Hitachi!
Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2017