Zombified kids are always the creepiest part of any undead saga. The Walking Dead has gotten some of its most effective moments from the unfortunate intersection of death and the young, and almost every great zombie movie has had its characters wrestle with putting down something that looks like a child but hungers like a beast.
It’s rarer to see the zombie kid trope used for laughs, but that’s the goal of Cooties, a new movie written by Saw scribe Leigh Whannel and Glee’s Ian Brennan. The movie sees Rainn Wilson and Elijah Wood as teachers who have to face off against ravenous hordes of adorable moppets once tainted chicken nuggets turn everyone under the age of puberty into a rampaging killing machine.
The trailer, which has a rambunctious energy reminiscent of Community’s much-beloved “Epidemiology,” is full of one-liners and grisly set-ups, and raises as many questions as it answers. Will 34-year-old boy-man Elijah Wood’s loyalties be divided? How thoroughly will the movie earn the “R” rating its premise pretty much demands? Can Rainn Wilson finally open a movie successfully, or is he forever doomed to Backstrom his way through life? We’ll know more when Cooties premieres on September 18.