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 »
I had been warmly recommended that I watch "The Girl with All the Gifts" given my love for the zombie genre, and it was a movie that had somewhat managed to fly under my radar, for some reason.
So I took the advice to heart and sat down to watch the movie. And I will say that the movie does start out quite alright, especially because the audience is sort of kept in the dark as director Colm McCarthy slowly and steadily builds up the story. And that uncertainty and only speculating at what is going on really helps to add drama to the movie.
Then the movie takes a turn into a zombie movie with the outbreak and overrunning of the military compound. And this is where the movie really picked up pace for me and where it was the most interesting.
However, it all came crashing down so hard, so very, very hard. And it came at the point where the children from "Beyond Thunderdome" made an appearance. That was just idiotic and such a poor turn of events to the story. And that totally left the movie in shattered pieces, and it never recovered from that blow. From that point on and to the end of the movie, it was just a slippery downhill slope that the movie had no chance of getting back up from.
Now, for a zombie movie, then "The Girl with All the Gifts" was sort of testing the waters with new ideas, and for most parts it did manage to prove potential and would have pulled it off, except that the movie took a critical hit and never recovered from it.
The special effects were good, and they did carry the movie a good long way. That is a given for a zombie movie, because special effects and whether or not they are believable or impressive is a make or break thing for the zombie genre, as it is less forgiving than most other genres.
"The Girl with All the Gifts" started out with lots of potential and was fast on the climb, but then it was all too soon and too tragically cut short by some laughable and idiotic turn of events and ill-thought ideas that were brought to the script. I can only imagine that they were concocted through some fever-stricken haze.
And the end of the movie, well I will not even comment on that. It was just so idiotic that it doesn't even deserve the time or effort.
This 2016 movie ends up with a barely mediocre rating in my opinion, narrowly managing to climb up to a, and I am being more than generous here, 5 out of 10 star rating.
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