Cooties (2014) - Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion

Cooties (2015) (48)

This horror comedy has heart. It's just not that good.

Director

Jonathan Milott
Cary Murnion

Producer

Tove Christensen,
Georgy Malkov,
Daniel Noah,
Steven Schneider,
Josh C. Waller,
Elijah Wood,
Seth William Meier

Writer

Leigh Whannell
Ian Brennan

Starring

Elijah Wood
Alison Pill
Rainn Wilson
Jack McBrayer
Jorge Garcia

Studio

SpectreVision,
Glacier Films,
Lionsgate Premiere

Release date

January 18, 2014

Country

United States

Box office

$348,091

Cooties is a horror comedy film from Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion. The directing duo behind 2017’s Bushwick. It stars Elijah Wood and Alison Pill alongside television actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office), Kate Flannery (The Office), Jorge Garcia (Lost) and Jack McBrayer (30 Rock). But Leigh Whannell (Saw & Insidious) takes the cake for being the funniest. 

The children of Ft. Chicken, Illinois have been turned into flesh-eating zombies. The cause? Tainted Chicken Nuggets from the school kitchen. The virus is spread among the kids by scratches or bites. Isolated at an elementary school, a small group of teachers must try to survive against these literal ankle biters.  


This film was brought to us by Elijah Woods own production studio, SpectreVision (The Boy, The Greasy Strangler). It was released during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and did all right. That popularity wouldn’t last. The movie would under perform during a limited run and it would end up being released on streaming services. It had grossed over $340 thousand worldwide. I can see this movie ending up on Chiller or Syfy if it hadn't previously. It’s tame, and the CGI makes things unrealistic. 


This is a comedy first and horror movie second. But an abundance of that comedy falls flat. Like I had said above, Leigh Whannell was the funniest guy in a cast that included Jack McBrayer and Rainn Wilson. Weird. Rainn Wilson’s gag was that he couldn’t pronounce Dual Rear Wheels, McBrayer was doing a closeted gay thing. It didn’t work. I also didn’t appreciate the CGI gore. When it’s overused, it sucks. The horror movie logic was wonky too. Jump scares were cheap and ineffective in most scenes. 


I am totally of two minds about this picture. On one hand, the film is inventive, fun and original. The best scene features a Samurai Janitor killing children. It’s great. But the overuse of CGI gore cannot be excused. This movie had more than just a few moments. So, I wouldn’t write it off. I thought the filmmakers were genuinely making a movie they enjoyed. I mean, what other movie does the protagonist get to tell a zombie child to “Eat a Cock!” before hitting him with a massive truck, impaling the kid with the novelty rooster hitch and ramming him into tree!? None! This is it. This is that movie. If you take one thing away, remember, kids are monsters.