In a dystopian near future, humanity has been ravaged by a mysterious fungal disease. The afflicted are robbed of all free will and turned into flesh-eating 'hungries'. Humankind's only hope is a small group of hybrid children who crave human flesh but retain the ability to think and feel. The children go to school at an army base in rural Britain, where they're subjected to cruel experiments by Dr. Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close). School teacher Helen Justineau (Gemma Arterton) grows particularly close to an exceptional girl named Melanie (Sennia Nanua), thus forming a special bond. But when the base is invaded, the trio escape with the assistance of Sgt. Eddie Parks (Paddy Considine) and embark on a perilous journey of survival, during which Melanie must come to terms with who she is.
Glenn Close's sister-in-law, Deb Close, is a massive fan of zombie films, having always wanted to be in one, and has a small role as one of the "hungries" in the scene where the group has to work their way through a crowd of them. She is the one wearing a blue knit, with green facial fungus and blood around the mouth and neck, that Glenn stares at as her character walks past. Deb flew to the UK especially for the part, and the first thing Glenn did after accepting her role was call to let Deb know she was in a zombie film. See more »
Whilst the movie was filmed in 2015 the panoramic shot of central London containing the 'Gherkin' also shows the old building at 20 Fenchurch Street, which was demolished in 2008, its replacement, the 'Walkie Talkie' was completed in 2014. See more »
This movie took a grand theme and turned it into a small, squalid cliché.
If you've read the book you'll find that the movie is, at heart, a completely different story. And I don't mean minor changes like reversing the races of Melanie and Miss Justineau. I mean deep, fundamental changes that alter the entire message of the story; changes that turn the hero into the villain and the villain into a pathetic tragic hero, and turn a story about hope coming in strange packages into something entirely different.
The book is--in spite of its setting and genre--a deep and thought-provoking look at what it really means to be human. The movie is not. It's just another zombie movie with a (not even too surprising, in the context of the movie) twist.
This movie wastes the abilities of a very talented group of actors. Melanie and Miss Justineau have a bit more depth than the other characters, but Seargent Parks--who is very deep and well-drawn in the book--is reduced to a cardboard-cutout of a soldier. Gallagher--also a multi-faceted character with his own moral message in the novel--becomes nothing more than a means of bringing us to the movie's climax which itself is wildly different than the book. Dr. Carter is humanized in ways totally at odds with the book, and in fact becomes the "hero" of the story, if you can call anyone a hero. And Melanie...well, in the end Melanie is cast as the villain, performing roughly the same actions as she did in the book but with totally different motivations.
All in all, it was a huge disappointment. I was willing to deal with many major plot cuts--I understand that movies simply cannot fit all the material of novel-length works into their time-frame. What I was not willing to accept was the complete reversal of the message of the book...which was this: Pandora opened the box containing all the ills of the world. But she didn't do it as vengeance or out of a feeling of moral superiority...she did it out of pure curiosity. And the result was horrific. She unleashed plague. She unleashed and pestilence and death and destruction. But...she also released hope.
This movie took a grand theme and turned it into a small, squalid cliché. If you loved the book, don't bother. (But do look for the cast, who did an amazing job with the little they had to work with--in other roles.)
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