Just in time to swoop down and hoist me out of the pit of bad movies I was falling into comes The Girl with All the Gifts. A modern zombie movie from a younger infected girl’s perspective, TGWATG brings some new things to the genre. The 2016 British film is directed by Colm McCarthy and stars Gemma Arterton (The Voices, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters), Paddy Considine (Dead Man’s Shoes), and Glenn Close (too many to name).
TGWATG breathes new life into undead category by slightly changing the some of the common rules. A large group of children are being held in an underground military base to be studied. They seem normal to the naked eye, but get too close without the proper precautions and they will become your worst nightmare! The film establishes itself as more than a run-of-the-mill zombie flick right off the bat in the first act. There’s real feelings there where in other zombie movies usually only brutal violence would be.
Newcomer Sennia Nanua delivers an outstanding performance as the lead infected. Her trials in the bleak and unforgiving world she is cast in are both harrowing and gratifying. The zombies are intensely vicious and frightening, not wasting any time getting up close and personal. I just wish the third act was as interesting as the first. Left with a semi-sweet finale, I would have changed a few plot ideas to shape the outcome towards a different direction.
The film was written by Mike Carey who also wrote the novel of the same name. This film is proof it pays off to hire the creator of the source material to work on the adaptation. I’m sure the movie wouldn’t have turned out this great without his guiding hands. TGWATG is a wonderfully dark zombie feature with gripping emotional performances and a refreshing story in a genre rife with copycats. I would certainly recommend it, especially if you enjoyed 28 Days Later.
4 bloody chins out of 5