Stanley Film Festival 2015: COOTIES Kicks the Fest Into Gear

     May 1, 2015


Last night the Stanley Film Festival (more on that here if you’ve never attended) hosted the premiere of a new cut of Cooties. The film was written by Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious, The Mule) and Ian Brennan (Glee) and directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion. After a wrenchingly disgusting opening showing the inner workings of a factory making chicken nuggets, the film settles into its primary narrative concerning a group of teachers who must escape their child students after bad cafeteria food has transformed into killer savages. The horror comedy stars Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, and Rainn Wilson as well as Whannell and Brennan and played to a full, enthusiastic crowd at the Stanley Concert Hall.

The film itself has apparently been recut a bit since its premiere at Sundance last year but, not being privy to that version, I can only judge Cooties on its current merits – which are many. This is the kind of film that throws as many jokes out as it possibly can without crossing the line into slapstick, and it manages to effectively land around 90% of them, which is an abnormally high success rate.

Cooties also has a good amount of bite to balance out the laughs (which aren’t all that saccharine to begin with). The movie is happily gory bloodbath. No body part is spared, no child’s demise considered off limit. It’s a hilarious cry of fearful rage against a youth none of us can ever hope to understand after a certain age… and I hope it spreads. Here’s a few snapshots of how the film played at the fest:





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