Cooties rides the line between horror and comedy for a long time but it falls away toward the end, that being said it is still highly enjoyable.
Cooties introduces us to Clint (Elijah Wood) budding horror novel writer and substitute teacher who is filling in at Fort Chicken summer school. Here he meets the very eccentric staff, Wade (Rainn Wilson), Doug (Leigh Whannell), Tracy (Jack McBrayer), Rebbekah (Nasim Pedrad) and Lucy (Alison Pill). Clint knows Lucy from their school days and after a rough introduction to the school day, Clint and Lucy rekindle their friendship…well that’s until the kids start feasting on human flesh. From here Cooties excels in its mixing of the comedy and gore, with gross out gags and laugh out loud gags coming thick and fast until it runs out of steam.
As usual Elijah Wood is very engaging and he plays Clint with an air of the teaching job being beneath him but still with enough vunerability to be likable. Rainn Wilson & Leigh Whannell steal a lot of the scenes – Wilson as Wade, the physical education teacher that wishes he was still a high school sports star and Whannell’s sociopath yet intelligent Doug, who gets some of the best lines. As an ensemble cast though, everyone works very well together.
Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion keep the action coming with some of the set pieces being played for maximum carnage and physical comedy. The film is letdown by a very weak ending and some bizarrely emotional ruminations on teaching (I do agree with these but it just wasn’t really in the same tone as the rest of the film). Cooties is a stack of fun though and well worth seeing. Just a warning if really like chicken nuggets, this film will ruin them for you, forever.