You just know what with a title like Cooties you are in for some real bad stuff. But is it the entertaining kind or something you should miss?
I don't know about you but sometimes it really helps to have some big names into flicks like these. Because most of the time that does mean that they saw something in the project that was worth their time. Elijah Wood's presence makes the difference as he plays his role seriously while allowing to be made fun of on occasion. Then you see the utterly disgusting prologue and you wonder what you gotten yourself into. I mean give someone time to get eased into grossness. But it immediately sets the tone and tells you what kind of horror to expect. Surprisingly though this film does build up some tension and suspense very effectively. In large part that has to do with the kid actors doing their job real well. They are genuinely creepy and scary. Of course the direction has something to do with that also. It is always nice to have directors respecting horror enough to not go overboard with comedic elements. That sometimes is very off putting. Here the balance is just right. Once disaster strikes you do feel for the characters and their predicament. Although I am not entirely sure about Jorge Garcia's (Hugo from Lost) involvement. He did provide some comedic relief but he did not seem part of the film enough and could have easily been cut out. When the mayhem is in full affect I was curious enough to see of what was going to happen next. And I was really enjoying myself a lot.
Until I noticed one major flaw. Repetition. We keep seeing the same things with very little variation over and over again to a point where you realize that the people involved have no idea how to end the film or show you something creative. If you feel a 88 minute movie is dragging then something is not right. And I felt that after the first hour had passed. It is then that you find out that the little plot of Wood's character trying to write a bestseller is only used to describe where he is coming from. But other than that it is not used at all. Him being a writer desperate for success could have added a real dimension like it has been done by adaptations of Stephen King books like The Dark Half and Secret Window. Or they could have shown some interaction between the infected kids. Just saying that the film makers would not have to reach that deep to do something creative. Their lack of trying is what holds Cooties back.
In the end Cooties is a horror comedy that starts out real good but disappoints since it does not do enough to keep you hooked. Entertaining for the most part especially because of one particular funny character like Doug played by Leigh Wannel (writer and actor Insidious and Saw). Still it could have been so much better.