Sometimes you just want to watch disease-ridden schoolchildren getting murdered by adults. For those times, there is the Cooties Trailer, released yesterday. I had heard absolutely zero about this movie before the trailer dropped online, so I was intrigued by the idea of small children contracting a zombie disease from questionable school cafeteria chicken nuggets. The children then infect each other, attack their teachers and parents, and generally create a terrifying and awkward situation for all those involved.
Your standard zombie movie tropes seem to apply in Cooties: the disease is mysterious at the beginning, spreads quickly, and the threat of a global pandemic is hinted at in the trailer. For a horror comedy of this nature, it is surprising the see the likes of Elijah Wood, but perhaps Rainn Wilson (Super), Alison Pill(Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), and Jack McBrayer(30 Rock) are more expected in the comedy-slash-something genre. Overall, one has to feel impressed with this cast, and I would expect a good deal of laughs from this flick.
In the trailer itself, some of the jokes fall a little flat. I could do without the Jack McBrayer’s character is secretly gay kind of joke, which definitely inspired an eye roll on my end. The montage self-reference did work really well for me, inspiring a chuckle or two. But, let’s be serious (an odd word choice): if we watch this movie, it will be for the scenes of adults fighting for their lives against infected grade school children. This type of conflict is entirely foreign for us, as it is generally very difficult to craft a narrative where explicit violence against swathes of children is not only acceptable, but encouraged. To keep such horrific acts funny, this movie will have to walk on a knife’s edge, and it is worth noting that the film received a new ending when it was purchased by Lionsgate last fall. It will be an amazing feat to navigate through this movie with the appropriate tone. I don’t know exactly what that tone would be, as they could go so over-the-top that it approaches farce, or more dour and survival-focused, which would be very weird, so it seems they will lean towards the former. Regardless, I will be looking forward to the release of Cooties, which hits select theaters and video on demand services on September 18th later this year.