There’s not much left to be said about zombies that hasn’t been said over and over again in countless movies and television series.
“Cooties,” the latest addition to the horror subgenre, doesn’t add much to the conversation, but it’s exceedingly fun, comically gruesome and well-cast.
A virus, spread through tainted chicken, ends up in some nuggets served at an elementary school outside Chicago. One kid eats it, gets “cooties,” as the other kids call it, and soon these pint-sized terrors are causing chaos at the school.
It’s up to the teachers to stop them, while trying to save themselves amid constant bickering.
Of course, there will be many deaths along the way, which are delivered in some creatively vicious ways.
Elijah Wood plays Clint, a struggling wannabe writer who returns to his hometown to work on his first book while taking a gig as a substitute teacher. He reunites with his old school chum Lucy (Alison Pill), who is now a teacher there and is dating gym teacher Wade (Rainn Wilson, hilarious).
The rest of the creepy, weird and kooky teaching staff is made up of Leigh Whannell (who co-wrote the film with Ian Brennan, who plays the vice principal), Jack McBrayer and Nasim Pedrad.
“Cooties” isn’t particularly scary, though it’s hard to imagine it was aiming to bring any real terror. Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the film is the possibility that there might be teachers out there like these ones, sculpting the minds of the next generation.