Warm Bodies (2013)

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer. John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco

Directed by: Jonathan Levine

Rating: 1 2 3 and a half

Nicholas Hoult as zombie R in Warm Bodies

If you've had the misfortune to see Colin, the world's most boring zombie movie, nay indeed one of the world's most boring movies full stop, you'll have reached the same conclusion as me: having a zombie for a hero is a Really Bad Idea. Because, in themselves, zombies are incredibly boring. They don't feel, they don't think, they don't talk, they just endure day upon tedious day of pointless shambling, enlivened only by the occasional bout of brain devouring.

This is certainly the opinion of our zombie hero, R (Nicholas Hoult), who fortunately is able to supply his own wry, self-deprecating voiceover on his mind-numbingly dull situation, as he shuffles slowly, endlessly, round an airport with all the other corpses.

Nicholas Hoult as R and Teresa Palmer as Julie in Warm Bodies

But R's undead life is transformed when he encounters Julie (Teresa Palmer), a living breathing human bean from the militarised ghetto in the centre of the city, ruled over by her gun-toting dictator of a father (John Malkovich), in a post-zombie-apocalyptic USA. Gradually, warmed by Julie's company, R finds himself returning to life – and he isn't the only one...

If the definition of a true romance is a tale the epitomises the redemptive power of love, then this endearing rom-zom-com has to be the most romantic film since, well, Romeo + Juliet, making the Twilight movies look like The Break Up.

Yes, it's fairly low budget, and the special FX leave a bit to be desired, but a clever mix of John Hughes-style teen sassiness, emo vulnerability, zombie skeletons and rotting flesh makes Warm Bodies a surprising breath of fresh air. Merrily ploughing its own feelgood 12A furrow through the already saturated zombie genre, the film cannily positions itself somewhere between the super-serious megabucks of The Walking Dead and the forthcoming World War Z and the cheap and cheerful black humour of Shaun of the Dead or, indeed mega low budget student romp Romeo and Juliet vs The Living Dead.

So this Valentine's Day, forget the obligatory Richard Curtis soppy nonsense and snuggle up for a dose of adorable undead love instead. With a side order of brains, of course – who said romance is dead?

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