Warm Bodies review (Blu-ray)

The zombie love goes on. The genre continues to be the flavour of the month on big screen and small, but how long will it be before audiences grow tired of shuffling corpses?

Luckily, the "zom-rom-com" hasn't yet been mined to death – Shaun of The Dead and Deadheads are the only titles that spring readily to mind. And Warm Bodies does bring a relatively fresh spin to the undead concept, although it plays a little like Dawn of the Dead meets Twilight.

R (Hoult) is a zombie, but far from the braindead kind. He shuffles around an abandoned airport, empty except for other "corpses", as the living call them. We know R isn't brainded because we hear his innner monologue as he wanders about, filling us in on this post-apocalyptic world. But his afterlife changes for the better when he meets Julie (Palmer).

She's a living, breathing (and glorgeous) human who doesn't know that R has just munched on her boyfriend's brain. R rescues her from a zombie horde and hides her in his airplane hideout, and the two develop a relationship of sorts as R finds himself starting to change.

Warm Bodies is an interesting spin on the zombie genre that often works, and sometimes doesn't. It's biggest flaw is that it doesn't quite know what it wants to be – it's too tame to be a proper horror film, and not quite funny enough for a full-on comedy.

It does have its moments, though – particularly a nice Romeo and Juliet-inspired balcony scene. And the performances are mostly spot on, particularly Corddry as the undead M, although Malkovitch isn't really given much to do. It's sweet, often funny and entertaining, which is more than can be said of many modern zombie films.

EXTRAS ★★★★ Definitely not a bare-bones package here. There's an audio commentary with director Levine and stars Palmer and Hoult; the featurette Boy Meets, Er, Doesnt' Eat Girl (9:49), which details the development of both the novel (which began life as a short story) and the film; the featurette R&J (16:21), which looks at casting the two leads and making the film; the featurette A Little Less Dead (16:41), which looks at casting the rest of the ensemble; the featurette Extreme Zombie Make-Over (10:10); the featurette A Wreck In Progress (14:58), which looks at the locations of the film, in Montreal; the featurette Bustin' Caps (10:08); which looks at the film's weapons and stunts; the featurette Beware The Boneys (7:03), which looks at the visual effects behind the "Boney" zombies; Whimsical Sweetness: Theresa Palmer's Warm Bodies Home Movies (12:37); Zombie Acting Tips With Rob Corddry (4:43); nine deleted scenes, all with an optional commentary from Levine (11:04); and the very funny Shrug & Groan Gag Reel (5:07). All in all, plenty here to get your teeth into. 

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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