Anyway, Warm Bodies is basically a post-apocalyptic romance with zombies. I haven't read the book yet, although it's on my TBR list.
For a zombie, R (all he can remember of his name is the first letter) is pretty introspective. He dislikes the sameness of his existence and seeks out and collects things that make him feel more alive. This includes vinyl records, various objects that interest him, and...brains. When they eat brains, zombies like R can see and feel the lives and emotions of those whose brains they eat.
A (small? sizable? I'm not really sure) group of humans lives in a walled-off community overseen by the father of a young woman named Julie. Although the community seems to be doing fairly well, there are certain things they can only get from outside their walls. Volunteers, like Julie and her boyfriend, are responsible for getting those things.
During a supply run, Julie's group is attacked by a group of zombies that includes R. R is instantly dazzled by Julie but is forced to take a break from admiring her Rambo-like shooting skills to attack and eat her boyfriend. R then approaches Julie, who is convinced she's about to die, and smears a bit of zombie blood on her face to make the other zombies think she's one of them. Then he takes her to his home.
Julie, who doesn't know R ate her boyfriend, gradually realized that, yes, R really is trying to keep her safe. R gets to know her better by secretly eating pieces of her boyfriend's brain, and the two begin and unconventional friendship/romance. However, Julie is still a living person, and she really wants to go back home. R, whose feelings for Julie have changed him and made him feel more alive than he has in a long time, eventually realizes he'll have to either help her do what she wants or watch her get killed by his fellow zombies.
When I first started watching this movie, it didn't seem like it could possibly end happily. R was a zombie, Julie was a living girl, and R was eating Julie's boyfriend's brains. Maybe at some point Julie would willingly allow herself to be turned into a zombie? Or maybe I needed to prepare myself for a tragic ending?
I'm going to try to avoid spoilers as much as possible, but I will say that the movie does end happily. I figured out how things were going to go, well before the end of the movie, although there was a bit of a fake-out near the end. The solution to everyone's problems made me roll my eyes and was probably the worst aspect of the movie. From reviews I've read, it looks like the book will be similar in that respect. Although I'm not looking forward to that, I'd still like to read it, primarily because I loved R.
R was great – funny and likable, making it fairly easy to forget about his dietary requirements until he leaped at Julie's boyfriend. I laughed when he kept telling himself “don't be creepy,” desperately trying to win Julie's trust so that he could get to know her better without making her cry.
Julie didn't appeal to me quite as much. She seemed to adjust to the death of her boyfriend awfully easily. Just as I was thinking that, she was given a scene in which she tried to explain why she appeared to be reacting so well to his death. Even so, I was never able to like her nearly as much as I liked R, even though he was the one secretly eating brains. I also thought Julie got over finding out that R was responsible for her boyfriend's death way too easily.
All in all, I liked this movie, but, really, I liked the stuff before the “zombie problem” started to...go away...best. R and the whole “life from a zombie's perspective” aspect were the best things about this movie. The rest was kind of “meh.” Still, I'm glad I watched this, and I hope the book is at least as enjoyable.
Watch-alikes and Read-alikes:
- The Walking Dead (live action TV series) - A much less humorous look at the zombie apocalypse. I've only watched a little of this and don't know if I have the willpower to watch more. I am such a horror wimp.
- Zombieland (live action movie) - If you prefer your zombie horror with a side of humor, you might want to give this a try.
- Shaun of the Dead (live action movie) - Again, zombies + humor, only this time the humor is British. Yay! I have written about this movie.
- Dead Inside: Do Not Enter: Notes from the Zombie Apocalypse (book) - Okay, this one isn't humorous, but it's still a really great, quick zombie apocalypse read. It's designed to look like a collection of notes people wrote right at the start of and during a zombie apocalypse. I have written about this book.
- Darkly Dreaming Dexter (book) by Jeff Lindsay - If you'd like another book that will make you actually like (?) a protagonist you might previously have thought would be unlikable, you may want to give this a try. The main character is a blood spatter pattern analyst by day and a serial killer by night. His "voice" is surprisingly funny and likable, despite his "hobby." I have written about the second season of the TV series and the fourth book in the series.
- I Am Legend (book) by Richard Matheson - Much bleaker in tone than Warm Bodies, but I thought it might appeal to those who liked its "zombie daily life" aspects. In this case, the human population is decimated by a vampire plague. I listened to an audiobook version of this and could have sworn I'd written about it, but it looks like I didn't.