Institute History

  • 2014 Sundance Film Festival


Elementary schools have given birth to great thinkers, innovative scientists, and inspiring leaders. They are also malignant cesspools, teeming with grime and disease.

Directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion’s first film, Cooties, focuses on the virulent underbelly of grade school. Except this time, the bug that’s going around is transforming the student body from spazzes, tattletales, and brats into deranged, cannibalistic mutants. After an uncharacteristically blood-soaked recess, the surviving teachers and students band together in a desperate attempt to leave the building without being permanently dismissed.

This appealingly preposterous scenario comes together in a hilarious script by cowriters Leigh Whannel (the creator of Saw) and Ian Brennan (the creator of Glee). The strong ensemble cast includes Elijah Wood as a failed writer-turned-underwhelming substitute teacher, Alison Pill as his childhood crush, Rainn Wilson as a mustachioed gym teacher, and Jorge Garcia as a drug-addled crossing guard. Nasim Pedrad and Jack McBrayer are welcome additions to the roster.

Bring a sack lunch and a signed permission slip because Cooties is, officially, a trip.

— Jon Korn

Screening Details

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