Directed by: Collie McCarthy
Adapted from the novel, ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’, Written by: Mick Carey
Music Composed by: Cristobal Tapia de Veer
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine, Sennia Nenua, Fisayo Akinade, Anthony Welsh.
After recently starting to watch, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) and stopping after 15 minutes because I was just so sick of zombies, I surprised myself by taking in, The Girl With All The Gifts.
With Glenn Close starring and my avid love of thrillers, I thought the film looked good.
It made sense to me, fungi infecting the population and turning humans into blood thirsty beasts. It’s the need for protein that turns the Hungries into killers.
And as, War Of The Worlds has shown us, and frankly this last flu season, it’s the micro-organisms and shown here, the fungi (not a micro-organism, but you get the drift) that will win in the end…
The film begins with children, about 10 years old, being wheeled into a makeshift classroom, strapped to a wheelchair, wearing matching orange tracksuits.
The soldiers who transfer them from cell to classroom are obviously scared of the kids, yet, Melanie (Sennia Nenua) is a kind and polite, extremely intelligent school girl.
Until she’s hungry and can smell flesh.
After the compound’s attacked by seemingly endless hungries, Melanie’s favourite person and teacher, Helen Justineau (Gemma Arterton), along with Dr Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close), Sergeant Eddie Parks (Paddy Considine), and soldiers Kieran Gallagher (Fisayo Akinade) and Dillon (Anthony Welsh) escape, to the outside world, back to London to wait for rescue.
Scottish director, Collie McCarthy (Outcast (2010), Endeavour (TV series, 2012) has brought a UK flavour to the film which is a nice change from the saturation of the American zombie takeovers, setting the film in London with native accented characters.
And there’s some good acting here – Glenn Close, who can do no wrong, brings a solid performance as the villainous researcher. And young Sennia as Melanie holds her own as the hybrid fungal/human creature.
But it was difficult to take the hungries seriously when the fungus growing over their faces looked like green fur.
The infected blew the suspension for me – the hungries not always believable, so after the strong opening, the film waned.
There is some blood and guts for the those who like a bit of gore mixed with suspense. And a few light moments to break the tension.
I appreciated the thought put into the script with some new ideas making the film more than just another zombie movie.
So, not a brilliant film, but worth a watch.