In a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a zombie infection, human survivors barricade themselves behind a giant wall within the city. Outside, shuffling zombies wander aimlessly, spurred only by the hunger for human brains (which offer the eaters a chance to recapture emotions). When a particularly reflective zombie, known as R, meets Julie he has an urge to protect her and keep her safe rather than have her be his next meal. Their relationship causes friction, whilst enabling R to regain his humanity.

About the film

Warm Bodies is a horror romantic comedy based on Isaac Marion’s novel of the same name. Starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer as the main protagonists Warm Bodies was released in 2013 to some critical acclaim. Many reviewers noted the rather novel take on the zombie, romance and comedy genres and the not so subtle allusions to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The story is told from the perspective of the zombies, exploring themes of humanity and relationships whilst drawing upon common horror tropes.

Information about the film

The film was submitted for an advice viewing in November 2012. This is where distributors send in a work and are given an explanation of the likely age rating a work will receive. We informed the distributor that Warm Bodies was likely to receive a 12A for a single use of strong language and some moderate violence and horror. 

Films classified 12A and video works classified 12 contain material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12. No one younger than 12 may see a 12A film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. Adults planning to take a child under 12 to view a 12A film should consider whether the film is suitable for that child. To help them decide, we recommend that they check the Ratings info for that film in advance. No one younger than 12 may rent or buy a 12 rated video work.

The film was submitted later in November and came with a 12A request from the distributor. The film was subsequently classified 12A with the Ratings Info contains moderate violence and horror and one use of strong language.

Violence: Scenes of moderate violence and horror occur during zombie attacks on humans. Some of these zombies have become more decomposed and more vicious. Some gore features as zombies eat human brain matter, however there is little detail or focus on such moments. Blood spurts and some splatter also results from the shooting of zombies and the use of a strimmer against them.

Language: The film contains one use of strong language ('f**k'). One use of moderate language ('bitches') also features, in addition to other terms including 'shit', 'hell', 'Jesus' and 'God'.

Discussion Points
  • Did you enjoy the film? How did the film make you feel? Were there any bits of the story that you didn't like? Who was your favourite character?
  • Did you learn anything from the film? If so, what?
  • Warm Bodies is based on a novel. Could you tell that? How? Have you seen other adaptations before? Did the film make you want to see the novel?
  • The author also said he was influenced by the story of Romeo and Juliet? Do you know that story? How did that affect your experience viewing the film?
  • How well did you think the film managed to combine a hybrid of genres?
  • Do you like horror films and why/why not? Do you like Romantic comedies and why/why not? Would you have rathered a stronger focus on one genre?
  • The film explores themes of humanity and relationships? What message do you think the filmmakers were trying to get across? Did they achieve it?
  • After making their feelings for each other clear, R and Julie faced some animosity and conflict. Why do you think this was? 
  • Can you relate to the relationship between R and Julie in any way? Is it reflected in real world relationships?
  • Do you think 12A is the right age rating for the film? What issues were in it? Were there any you thought might be difficult for younger children?
Further Reading/Viewing

Warm Bodies (2011) novel by Isaac Marion; Edward Scissorhands (Burton, 1990) BBFC 12, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996) BBFC 12.