‘The Girl With All the Gifts’ breathes new life into the zombie [Review]

On April 25, Lionsgate Home Entertainment will release The Girl With All the Gifts on DVD and Blu-ray™. This film takes place in a somewhat familiar post-apocalyptic world in which zombie-like creatures run amuck. However, there are key points in the writing that keep this film fresh.

 

The origins of what characters in the movie refer to as “hungries” is a fungus – based upon one actually found in nature. This fungus attaches to human brains, causing the infected to lose control and begin eating flesh. Though, some children seem partially immune to the effects of these organisms. Naturally, government programs are therefore launched to study these exceptional kids in an effort to design a cure.

As events unfold, one child in particular – played by Sennia Nanua – becomes the focal point of the film. Nanua does a solid job of keeping the audience guessing about her right up until the end. With Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine playing the other three primary roles here, it would be easy for this young actor’s performance to seem weak in comparison. However, she holds her own in this seasoned cast – each member of which turns in a strong and engaging performance.

 

Overall, The Girl With All the Gifts presents a captivating story arch. The pacing is strong throughout, allowing the writer (Mike Carey) to cover a great deal of ground without feeling rushed. There is one moment of audience frustration toward the end, where a lead does something totally out of character and seemingly unnecessary to the story line. This moment is the invisible tree root trip of the flick. However, as thrillers go, seeing only one big moment like this makes it an above average composition.

 

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Cristobal Tapia de Veer’s score is solidly molded to the film, with several standout moments. Additionally, costumes and makeup are well executed through most of the movie. The one exception is found in a group of children mid-film, who are unfortunately clad in borderline cheesy attire. However, the rest of the flick and a refreshing lack of CGI mostly make up for this blunder.

 

The Girl With All the Gifts manages to breath new life into a mostly played-out theme. Zombie and/or thriller fans are very likely to enjoy this film.

 

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