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The Girl with all the Gifts

Coming Soon

I enjoyed this movie for its heart. I enjoyed this movie for its unconventional take on a theme explored many times before. I enjoyed this movie for its decent acting in a genre that usually suffers from a lack of talent. But what I enjoyed most about this movie was not knowing what it was about before watching it, because the build up to the major thematic element is part of what made it engrossing. Therefore I’d recommend, if you enjoy science fiction movies about dystopian futures and can handle a little suspense and blood, that you stop reading this review and go see the movie. You can finish reading the review after watching the film. See you soon.
The Girl with All the Gifts – based on a novel by Mike Carey and directed by Colm McCarthy – opens in a military institution in which seemingly normal children are housed in prisons and routinely and willingly strapped to wheel chairs to prevent them from moving. The viewer is left confused as to why the children are being treated as dangerous animals. Melanie (played by Sennia Nanua) stands out among the prisoners as being incredibly intelligent and warm hearted. She emotionally connects with her teacher, Helen Justineau (played by Gemma Arterton), and her doctor, Caroline Caldwell (played by Glenn Close), but is continually shunned by the director of the prison Sgt. Eddie Parks (played by Paddy Considine). We don’t learn until later in the film that the outside world has been ravaged by a virus that has turned everyone into mindless, flesh eating animals and these children may hold the key to curing the virus. Eventually the prison gets over-run by these zombies and the few surviving uninfected people are forced to seek food and shelter in the outside world.
Zombie movies have evolved dramatically over the years. Originally these films were typical horror films and the zombies were portrayed as a product of strange voodoo rituals. The next iteration showed a condition that could only occur in a person that was already dead. However, it appears that as our society has become less theological and more scientific, these films have started to develop a more plausible explanation for these creatures, by tying the condition to a virus. We saw this theme in 28 Days Later (2002, directed by Danny Boyle), World War Z (2013, directed by Marc Forster) and other films in recent years.
As I mentioned in my opening monologue, zombie films are rarely given such an accomplished cast. The themes in this genre have also evolved and become scientifically plausible. Besides some gore and a few frightening moments, I would consider this movie more science fiction than horror, and for that reason, I can recommend this new class of zombie film to an audience that may have shied away from the genre in the past.

The Girl with all the Gifts is streaming now on the following services:
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