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.
The film shares similar themes and plot points to the PS4 video game the Last of Us. Both feature a fungal zombie plague, both have a last stage of infection where people sprout spore pods, both zombies overwhelming rely on a single sense (smell and sound respectively) meaning the heroes can move from hordes, both feature a young girl who potentially has the cure who needs to be moved through the infected zone, both focus on her relationship with a gruff reluctant father figure. The similarities were highlighted in several reviews. 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 »
Nothing predictable about this, nothing whatsoever..
As a prolific reviewer, you tend to often discuss a film in terms of traditional arcs, and riffs off those same arcs.
Which is why it is always a treat when a film comes along that throws the script template out the window and forges its own path.
This is such a film. It reminded me of THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN 1957, the first legitimate A-list sci-fi that, like this film, started off in what seemed a traditional manner -- and then went down a plot superhiway that no one had ever seen before.
It is not a perfect film. It has some flaws. For example, the first 30 minutes are better (more impact, more empathy, more entertaining) than the last 60 minutes. Which is not to suggest that the last hour is bad, merely that the first half-hour is drop-dead stunning and unforgettable.
And the director often seems confused about who the real star is? Ditto for the PR dept of the studio. If you check the IMDb reference, you will see that the young girl so brilliantly played by Sennia Nanua is given billing lower down on the cast list. That's an error. Sennia IS the film -- she practically picks it up and carries it to the finish line. The scenes without her are weak, the scenes with her are wonderful.
Nice iteration of a "really smart" zombie film. Recommended.
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