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Review: The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl With All The Gifts: A Hidden Zombie Gem

Directed by Colm McCarthy

Written by Mike Carey

"you can't save people from the world. There's nowhere else to take them."

--M.R. Carey, The Girl With All The Gifts

Welcome to my review. I figured I would start my first review on a movie that caught me off guard. So, if you look zombies and a dystopian future film sit back and enjoy this 2016 hidden gem.

This movie though is a slow burn to an extent is nothing like your other zombie movies out there, at least the ones I have seen. It is not an out and out battle between a group of survivors and the zombie apocalypse, but provides a story for you too.

Apparently in the future a dangerous fungal infection that turns humans into ‘hungries,’ flesh eaters who look as if they are rotting and robbed of there humanity. On a military base a group of survivors including military personnel, scientist, doctors, and other civilians hold captive a group of young children who “ate there way out of their mother’s wombs,” still infected but are capable of learning and feeling and have no other side effects of the fungal infection but the craving of flesh if they can smell the scent of a human.

These children are also exposed to experimentation by Dr. Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close) to help the humans find the cure to the disease is performed daily on the children usually ending in the death of the child. However, to further study the children’s psychology and abilities a teacher named Helen Justineau (Gemma Arterton) provides classes for the children in which she grows fond of one student Melanie (Sennia Nanua). One day when Melanie was taken away by Dr. Caldwell for experimentation the facility was breached by the ‘hungries’ in which everyone in the facility besides a small militia Dr. Caldwell, Helen, Melanie, and a Sgt. Eddie Parks (Paddi Consadine) escape and are looking for refuge and the cure of the fungal infection destroying the world.

Now, that you know the synopsis, why is this a hidden gem. First off, I never even heard of this movie until it popped up in one of my streaming services. Second, it brought a story to the zombie movies that we all loved and an understanding of survival of the fittest. This movie though it is not full of action scenes provides just enough action for you to be entertained and a little bit of heart to actually make you give a shit about what happens to these survivors.

Acting across the board was excellent in what it wanted to express. Dr. Caldwell (Close) will make you hate her but understand where she is coming from and knowing her goals and direction. Though going towards the end of the movie you can surely tell that Sgt. Parks (Considine) is a good person but is focused on groups survival and must be an asshole when it is necessary. Helen (Arterton) is probably the weakest one out of them all but she is charismatic and really plays the motherly role in all of her actions. Finally, Melanie (Nanua) truly does have all the gifts. She can be cruel when she needs to be, wise when faced with major decisions, caring for those who care for her, and she knows how to straddle the line between the ‘hungries,’ and humans.

Throughout this entire adventure Melanie is used almost like a secret weapon to help battle the hungries and ensure victory for those she cares about and will make sacrifices if needed. The whole movie was done with nice visuals and practical effects. The story was well planned and made you understand the ending but gave you a ride until the end.

Reviewed by Professor Timore

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