This weekend, Summit Entertainment releases its latest supernatural YA book-to-film love story, Warm Bodies, and a lot of people are talking about the film’s potential comparisons to the Twilight Saga.
For instance, Screencrush has a particularly convincing top ten list of similarities between the two stories – like the fact that Edward (Robert Pattinson) and R (Nicholas Hoult) share a pretty similar undead stare and that Julie (Teresa Palmer) is a dead ringer for Bella (Kristen Stewart) – and the very first promotional poster released for Warm Bodies certainly does lend itself to such comparisons.
See also: Everything you need to know about ‘Warm Bodies’ in a nutshell
In addition to the similarities, though, there are also some pretty significant differences between the two stories that are worth ferreting out for those curious.
For starters, Warm Bodies is a comedy. The book upon which it is based, by Isaac Marion, is slightly less so, but the film gives the story a little more levity than its literary origin. So, obviously, the mood is quite lighter even when love sequences are involved. Also, a male voice narrates the tale, so there are, um, gender distinctions involved with perceptions of the opposite sex here. Take a peek at the first four minutes of the film (attached) for a preview of the film’s voice.
Another key difference would be the setting and motivations. Here we are dealing with a dystopian society in which zombies have taken over the world – quite a stretch from the average small town with hidden vegetarian vampires in the Twilight universe. The zombies, like vampires, are driven by a desire to feast on humans and they greatly outnumber their food source. They also have a secondary interest in not becoming like the “boneys”- hopeless, irretrievable versions of themselves (a possible point of comparison with Twilight‘s vampires which stave off their thirst for human blood to retain compassion).
See also: ‘Warm Bodies’ star Rob Corddry offers up not-so-serious advice for zombie acting
As for the leading characters, R clings to what fragments of himself are left in his limited memory and he’s only awakened to a human sympathy by the presence of another male mind … one whose brain he just feasted upon, by the way. Julie, meanwhile, is interested first in self-preservation and then when the prospect of a cure for the undead presents itself, her focus aligns with it. In no way, shape or form is she out to become like R the way that Bella aspires to life as a vampire in the Twilight Saga. So, while the male character struggles with his supernatural composition, the female protagonists differ greatly in their treatment of that status.
With regard to villains, there are of course threats of the undead nature present in Warm Bodies as in Twilight, but the central trouble lurks with the stubbornness of certain human beings. Here arises a battle of wills between the people rather than the two species, similar to the Breaking Dawn climax.
One giant similarity between Warm Bodies and Twilight is the fact that both authors were inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet while writing portions of the story.
Over all, viewers will likely find that while the are some grave similarities between the stories in Twilight and Warm Bodies, the cinematic experience will be quite different. That said, Warm Bodies is an enjoyable little story for those who are looking for fun film fare this weekend.
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