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.
Some of the scenes were shot in the middle of the busy Birmingham (UK) business district. See more »
Several times during the film, a character "cocks" a handgun before firing it. Since the group are carrying Glock pistols, which have no hammers (they are striker-fired) there's no need , nor ability, to cock them. See more »
The Girl With All The Gifts is yet another entry in the ever popular yet often uninspired infected/zombie genre, but it's one that actually manages to be refreshingly original, refusing to follow many of the rules established since Romero brought us Night of the Living Dead.
The film opens in an underground military facility where a group of children are being detained, locked in cells during the night, and strapped into wheelchairs to be educated during the day by teacher Helen Justineau (Gemma Arterton). But these are no ordinary kids: they are infected with a pathogen that causes them to crave human flesh; despite this fact, however, they are still capable of rational thought, with Melanie (Sennia Nanua) being a particularly bright student.
Dr. Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close) believes that the children can be used to create an anti-virus for the disease that has ravaged mankind, but before she gets a chance to prove her theories, the base is over-run by 'hungries' (as the infected are known). Justineau, Caldwell, and Melanie narrowly escape the ravenous hordes, joining forces with Sgt. Eddie Parks (Paddy Considine) and his men on a hazardous journey to safety.
With its cognisant second-generation zombie kids, born of infected mothers, this film quickly distances itself from the countless zombie films out there, but the film also has several other cool ideas that mark it as different: the humans can make themselves invisible to the hungries through the use of a special gel that disguises their scent; the pathogen mutates, turning the zombies into huge plant-like structures bearing seed pods that, if opened, will make the virus airborne; the humans are attacked by feral second-generation children who can use weapons and lay traps.
Best of all, the ending of the film questions humanity's right to survival, and whether, when the time comes, we should accept our fate and allow a new race to take our place. It's a thought provoking way to wrap up a neat little film.
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