A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.
3,225 ( 108)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Elijah Wood ... Clint
Rainn Wilson ... Wade
Alison Pill ... Lucy
Jack McBrayer ... Tracy
Leigh Whannell ... Doug
Nasim Pedrad ... Rebekkah
Ian Brennan ... Vice Principal Simms
Jorge Garcia ... Rick
Cooper Roth ... Patriot
Miles Elliot ... Dink
Morgan Lily ... Tamra
Sunny May Allison ... Shelly
Armani Jackson ... Calvin
Peter Kwong ... Mr. Hatachi
Kate Flannery ... Charman


COOTIES is a horror comedy with unexpected laughs and unapologetic thrills. When a cafeteria food virus turns elementary school children into killer zombies, a group of misfit teachers must band together to escape the playground carnage. The film stars Elijah Wood (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings), Rainn Wilson ("The Office"), and Alison Pill ("The Newsroom") as teachers who fight to survive the mayhem while hilariously bickering in an uncomfortable love triangle on the worst Monday of their lives. Written by Lionsgate Premiere

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An infectious new comedy See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence and gore, language including sexual references, and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The second time that Elijah Wood plays a character who fights monsters in a school. The first time was in The Faculty (1998). See more »


The power has been cut to the school, yet the vending machine still works. See more »


Wade: All right, ladies, here's the plan. We get down on that ledge, jump to the ground, hightail it like linebackers to our cars, boom.
Clint: I thought you tried to outrun them. You said they were too fast for you.
Wade: Yeah, but that was before I had a weapon.
Clint: A violin?
Wade: Not just a violin. It's an instrument of death. I propose we create a symphony of death. Everyone grab an instrument. Here. You take this
[hands Clint a tambourine]
Wade: .
Clint: Oh, yeah, that'll be real effective.
Wade: I'm offering leadership. What are you offering,...
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, Hitachi makes another appearance. See more »

Alternate Versions

There is an alternate ending to Cooties (2014) which was the original one, but Lionsgate paid them to re-shoot the ending After killing Patriot, they realize they are out of gas. They venture on foot and eventually find a deserted campsite. They enjoy themselves. Clint throws his novel in the fire and tells Lucy that he is not a writer and says he is actually a teacher, living in Fort. Chicken. Clint has a strong feeling of dread and tells the others to join him. They find the leader's dead body, and the other infected children find them. Then you see infected Boy Scouts, led by Shelly, looking even worse than ever; her eyes are hollow black with more blisters. It's unknown what happened to everyone after the encounter. Carnival music begins playing as three managers from an amusement park, a theater and a family fun center, respectively, get the chicken nugget boxes out of a truck carrying them. Because this ending was never shown, it is possible that the nuggets were also infected with the virus and is responsible for the outbreak. See more »


References Jaws (1975) See more »


God and a Shotgun
Written by Angela Wood and Noah Needleman
Performed by Ryan Wood
See more »

User Reviews

Leading to Nowhere
23 September 2015 | by billygoat1071See all my reviews

Cooties is about zombie children. That premise alone could come up with a lot of crazy ideas. And the movie does try to add up to that silliness; the characters are often too incompetent to face them. It's fun on paper, but the movie gets too confused by its focus. The characters are tough to care about and yet they get more of the center of this film. While there is some worthy sense of horror and worthy sense of humor, the movie doesn't have an exact direction where to go and it gets even confused with the plot, which eventually keeps stalling to unnecessary arcs that won't go anywhere in the end. Cooties overall feels like it's handling an unfinished script of a potential cult classic.

After the opening credits that reveals the source of this virus, the movie spends most of the time establishing its characters. Not that this is a bad narrative, but the characters it is trying to focus aren't really that interesting. The main protagonist is a writer out of luck, got strung to a love triangle and settle too much on that romance. The side characters are much interesting since they have something to involve in the actual plot; example is the socially awkward teacher who happens to know how to figure out the source and effects of the virus. He's basically a punchline, but he does more to this plot than the groan-worthy love triangle. Another one is a kid who was spared from the infected children who seems to be setup for a suspense of keeping him from becoming one of those zombie children, but that doesn't go anywhere either. And what's with the guy with the shrooms? In the end, these characters are either just one-noted or stereotypes, in both genres of comedy and horror.

When it's all about the horror, there is some really inspired moments; mostly at the night scene where there's a tricycle riding infected little girl wandering around the premises. There is a really effective amount of creeps to be found in those scenes. There's even one where they are being chased in a vent; in spite of its fast pace, the tension still works. But these worthy scenes are kinda few, most of them, while undeniably gross, is just as contrived as any horror film. It even occasionally just hides the monsters and just show their reactions. The cast did try to outweigh their roles, but hardly got the opportunity. Elijah Wood at least made his role sort of more charming than it should be. Rainn Wilson manages to ham it up to a role that doesn't exactly know what it's supposed to be.

Cooties doesn't feel like it has an ending, or at least the movie decided to be lazy instead in this conclusion. And of course, the climax! It's so rushed that it's supposed to be as charming and exciting as, let's say, Zombieland. But it doesn't deserve earning that since it mostly spends its time building up a romance that leads to nowhere. There is so much potential in this film that are mostly left out. While there is still some nice thrills, inspired horror movie moments and even sense of humor having these awkward unlikable comedy movie characters stuck in this darker genre, the film never becomes satisfying. It should have heightened more of its creativity; the tricycle girl is great, but how about an infected baby? I thought they were building that up to something more shocking. It's just ideas and violence being slapped together and never get to flourish. You may get some fine violence, creeps and laughs, but you'll suddenly realize that this atmosphere is hardly engaging.

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Release Date:

18 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cooties See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,031, 20 September 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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