Cooties (2014)

cooties poster 2014 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Nearly a really good movie

Need to take it a step farther

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Cooties

Studio:  SpectreVision

Genre(s):  Horror/Comedy

Release Date(s):  January 18, 2014 (Sundance)/September 18, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


Who wants chicken nuggets?

A toxic chicken nugget passes on a virus to a little girl…leading to an outbreak.  Clint Hadson (Elijah Wood) is an inspiring writer who is taking over as a student teacher for the summer.  Reunited with his school crush Lucy McCormick (Alison Pill), he finds himself at odds with her boyfriend Wade Johnson (Rainn Wilson).  When the epidemic starts, Clint, Lucy, Wade, and a handful of survivors find themselves fighting for their lives against children…and no cootie shot will help.

Directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Mumion, Cooties is a horror-comedy.  The movie premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2014 but wasn’t released until 2015.  The film received tepid reviews from critics.


I’m not afraid to bash in the heads of some zombie kids!

Movies with evil kids are a win.  Zombie movies are popular.  Combining zombies with kids is a perfect fit.  Other movies like Who Can Kill a Child? and The Children have done it in a serious horror manner but laughing about it can be a challenge.  Cooties comes so close to working…but just misses the mark.

The story is where Cooties really falls short.  It is a rather standard zombie tale peppered with some clever dialogue…on occasion.  The movie isn’t sharp enough to carry the concept despite the scattered laughs.  If Cooties was going to work it need to be sharper and more innovative in the script.

The cast is somewhat unbalanced though it does work.  The movie is filled with quirky characters in a Shaun of the Dead style grouping.  You have Elijah Wood as the conceited lead and Alison Pill as the “cute” girl.  Rainn Wilson plays a toned down and more vulgar Dwight (while channeling his inner Bruce Campbell).  I like some of the other supporting characters but at an hour and a half, the movie doesn’t seem to have enough time to really develop them enough.


We can go to Chuckie Cheese!!!

The movie feels pretty cheap.  There are some good zombie effects at times but many of the bodies and corpses just look like stock special effects.  The movie obviously borrows its tone from Zombieland, but Zombieland looked and was a bigger film which hurts this movie.  It also needed to be less forgiving to the children being mowed down by the adults…this is the humor in the script, and the movie was somewhat afraid to go there.

Cooties is so close to working that it stings a bit.  I wanted it to be a surprise fun movie, but it just isn’t there.  There is an opening for a sequel, but with so-so results from the audience, I don’t know that Cooties 2 will be hitting the screen anytime soon.  I think I would welcome it however.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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