Director(s): Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Cast: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill
Release Date: Available on Blu-ray & DVD December 1, 2015
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
When a cafeteria food virus turns elementary school children into little killer savages, a group of misfit teachers must band together to escape the playground carnage. The film stars Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, and Alison Pill as teachers who fight to survive the most unruly students ever on the worst Monday of their lives!
The day began as any other at this small town elementary school, at least until a contaminated chicken nugget consumed by one of the children unleashes a deadly virus which begins spreading among the school kids and infecting each with a deadly disease that turns them into little murdering and flesh devouring monsters. Trapped within the school, the on duty teachers must band together in order to survive the day and somehow miraculously find a way to escape before it’s too late and the disease spreads beyond the school.
Directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion from a script by Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious) and Ian Brennan (TV’s Glee & Scream Queens), Milott and Murnion do a stellar job at the helm of ‘Cooties’ which marks their directorial debut, perfectly capturing the hilarious and creepy tone and delivering an impressive debut film. ‘Cooties’ also benefits tremendously from the collection of talented individuals who comprise the cast including Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jorge Garcia along with screenwriters Whannell and Brennan who both also star in the film in addition to a number more; the entirety of the cast providing more than adequate performances in each of their respective roles, although Rainn Wilson easily steals the show with his fantastic and hilarious portrayal of the school coach.
‘Cooties’ is a creepy, gory and simultaneously hilarious horror comedy that perfectly combines the two genres, taking a loose zombie concept and doing something not only unique, but somewhat risky and managing to deliver a film that is incredibly bloody, hilarious and fun, while in no way offensive or bothersome, especially for fans of such films. ‘Cooties’ maintains a constant lighthearted aura overlaid with a sense of danger, while never sacrificing any of the blood or offensive fun. Overall, I would highly recommend ‘Cooties’ to anyone who enjoys a great horror comedy, fans of the TV series ‘Scream Queens’ in particular should especially enjoy this one.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Cooties’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful, delivering a sharp, detailed and gorgeous video presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be found within, holding up impressively during the fast moving and darkly lit sequences which there are a number of in the film, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation complimented by a more than sufficient bitrate that should easily please most folks.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds great, providing a clean, aggressive and discrete audio presentation throughout, utilizing all five available channels brilliantly in order to surround the viewer with eerily snarling children, the films score and much more, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid and enjoyable 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Cooties’ includes a number of enjoyable extras. Included on the release is ‘The Cootietary’ which is in fact a fun ‘Audio Commentary’ with numerous members of the cast and crew. Also included on the release are a number of ‘Deleted/Extended and Alternate Scenes’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length altogether), plus an ‘Alternate Ending’ with optional commentary (approximately 4 minutes). Also included on the release is a Behind the Scenes Featurette titled ‘Circle, Circle, Dot, Dot… catching Cooties’ (13 minutes) which includes interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and more. We are also treated to a ‘Gag Reel’ (4 minutes) and last but not least ‘Talking Cooties’ (9 minutes) which features some video footage of the cast and crew working on the recording of ‘The Cootietary’.