A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Vague defense of the profession of teaching, but it's not really supported by the characters' actions. Also takes aim at modern parenting -- i.e. moms who are too busy on their cell phones to pay attention to their kids, as well as kids on Ritalin and Adderall. Characters work together but in a kind of disjointed way.
Positive Role Models
Some of the characters seem like good people, but by the end of the film, viewers aren't inclined to forgive any of them for their actions. Cultural stereotypes are shown and mentioned.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonishly over-the-top gory violence. Adults beat up, punch, pummel, smash, and otherwise destroy child zombies. Blood sprays, strong gore, disgusting wounds, severed limbs and heads. Disturbing prologue shows chicken nuggets being made. Other stomach-churning moments are played for laughs.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Passionate kissing between a man and a woman (she already has a boyfriend). Some innuendo. Discussion of puberty and periods.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Very strong language, much of it spoken by kids, includes multiple uses of "f--k," "c--k," "s--t," "c--t," "a--hole," "ass," "butthole," "balls," "d--k," "crap," "vagina," "douche," "bitch," "goddamn," "pee," and one "motherf----r."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Very brief mention of Apple products.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A secondary character spends the movie comically tripping on "shrooms" and is shown buying them from a dealer and eating them. Kids pop Ritalin and Adderall pills at school.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cooties is a horror-comedy about kids who turn into zombies after eating tainted chicken nuggets. Despite a talented cast and a screenplay co-written by horror veteran Leigh Whannell, the movie eventually grows boring and tasteless and, frankly, is too icky to recommend to just about anyone. Adults bash and fight kid zombies, there's lots of blood and gore (including severed limbs), and a disturbing, stomach-turning prologue shows chicken nuggets being made. Language is extremely strong, with constant use of words including "f--k," "s--t," and "c--t." There's some kissing and innuendo; a minor character spends the movie tripping on "shrooms," and kids pop Ritalin and Adderall pills. There's also some cultural stereotyping. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Starting off promisingly with an utterly gruesome prologue (you'll never eat chicken nuggets again) and some funny, likable characters, this horror-comedy eventually becomes bland and tasteless. Co-written by Leigh Whannell, who helped concoct the Saw and Insidious movies, COOTIES might have started out as a good idea, and it certainly attracted a fine cast. It also makes some wry, satirical comments about modern schooling and parenting (with Ritalin and Adderall making appearances), as well as pleading a heartfelt defense of the teaching profession.
But the idea of kids as zombies -- with adults beating, bashing, pummeling, and slashing them -- gets distasteful and sour, and the laughs stop. Plus, the movie loses interest in the humans, and they turn into cliches. (There's even an unfunny Asian stereotype.) It's evident that co-directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion ended up in a corner with no way out, especially given Cooties' weirdly abrupt ending.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.