Aki Vs. Evil – Warm Bodies

Not the kind of movie I usually actively seek out, but I actually do like it.

Spoilers.

R is a zombie (or a Corpse), but has some level of awareness of his situation. One day he meets a living girl, Julie, and falls in love. This has a weird effect on him and he actually starts to return to his human state. The problem is that Julie’s father, who runs the community of remaining humans, is not willing to accept this, and the skeletons (Boneys) of those zombies, who’ve given up, are not happy about this development either.

Again with the question of is this actually horror. I guess. The genre is quite malleable and there are plenty of horror movies, which are not scary. I do think it’s way too simplistic to just call every movie with a horror monster a horror movie. It’s also about what you do with those things. After all, no-one thinks the late -90s Mummy movie was a horror film, even if the original Mummy films were. I do think there is some leeway with horror comedies, especially with the romance thrown in. The skeletons are a nice horror element, though. They do also bring psychological element. What if you don’t care anymore? What happens then?

We’ve seen a variety within zombies before. Romero had a self-aware zombie first in Day of the Dead and later on in Land of the Dead, where they were even able to organize. Here there’s a pretty clear disctinction between the skeletons and the zombies, but based on what we see, it’s not black and white. There’s a spectrum of gray. R has been able to maintain some amount of humanity by replicating the things he remembers from his human days, such as listening to music.

There is a clear message of self-improvement. We are able to do it, but we also need outside motivation to do so. But then there’s the community. R isn’t working alone. He manages to communicate to the other Corpses that he wants Julie to be safe and they listen to him. Not only that, but they organize behind R. They all just needed a reason to return to normality. Apparently, we can do anything if we just work together.

Yeah, it’s much more positive than most horror movies. This is also reflected by the soundtrack, much of which is diegetic (or sometimes starts as diegetic). It would seem that with songs from Roy Orbison, The Black Keys, Feist, Guns n’ Roses, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Bon Iver, Scorpions, M83 and The National among others, they didn’t exactly pinch pennies when choosing the music for the film.

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