The Girl with All the Gifts is not your average Zombie movie. First off, they're all little kids (well, mostly). Secondly, the zombies in this film are non-zombies. Think 28 Days Later and the rage virus. Thirdly, the zombies here are called "hungries," which, I mean, is fitting.
I can hear the collective sighing and rolling their eyes before exclaiming, "Not another zombie movie."
But wait, this one was really good. We gotta talk about this one. The film is based on the book "The Girl with All the Gifts" by M. R. Carey (something that I'd love to say I've read, but I actually purchased the Audible version as soon as the credits began to roll).
This film starts off with a little girl, Melanie (Sennia Nanua), quietly whispering to herself. You realize really fast, she's in jail. The lights turn on and she sits herself down in a wheelchair and two guards come in with their guns pointed at her while she greets them politely.
It is at this point that my wife said, "What the hell is going on here?"
The children, you come to learn, are all infected with the same fungus that created the hungry, angry horde outside the prison walls. However, the children are locked to wheelchairs and brought into a classroom each day to learn the periodic table and Greek Mythology. There is a scientist, Doctor Caldwell (Glen Close) who keeps Melanie at an arms length emotionally (and physically since Melanie could eat her) and tests her with a logic puzzle. You come to learn very soon that Doctor Caldwell is trying to cure the fungus.
But why can the kids infected and imprisoned talk? Why do they have emotions? They're supposed to be zombies or something, right? How does this make sense?
I'm not going to spoil this one for you because it's honestly that good of a film. There are so many excellent factors that go along with this film. The soundtrack is equally fitting and haunting. The scenery shows the decay and vegetation that has overgrown in the time since the outbreak. The cinematography is excellent and subtle to show the differences in tone in a scene. I just can't say enough good things about the production of this one.
Fun fact: some of the aerial footage used was actually filmed using a drone over Chernobyl. Yeah, holy crap. Director Colm McCarthy said the following: "I was very interested in post-apocalyptic imagery and urban exploration. We wanted to surprise people rather than have people coming in expecting a studio level film. We sent a micro drone unit to Pripyat, Chernobyl to shoot helicopter footage with Pripyat doubling for urban London."
And listen: I don't know where this kid Sennia Nanua came from, but someone, anyone, hook that girl up with the best scripts for a while. This kid has some serious range as an actor. I'm so impressed.
This was an absolutely great film and surprising as I didn't really know too much about it to set expectations. I was pleasantly surprised and definitely recommend it!