Her teacher, Miss Justineau, played by Gemma Arterton, dotes on her as she is one of her favorite students and she sees her students as ordinary children. However, Melanie and her classmates are very special kids and as the film moves on, the viewer is introduced to what makes them so ‘special’.
Based on a 2014 novel by, M.R. Carey, director Colm McCarthy brings The Girl With All The Gifts to wonderful life in this movie adaptation.
Taking place in a dystopian future in which most of humanity has been wiped out due to a fungal infection that has spread around the world, the story is centered around one of the last human bases/research facility and its occupants. McCarthy makes sure to stay true to the novel and spends time to introduce the characters and the viewer only becomes aware of the world outside the base as the story progresses.
Newcomer, Sennia Nanua does a wonderful job as the main character of Melanie. The film does a great job developing the character of Melanie and one can’t help but root for her. There are some tasks that only Melanie can handle and she volunteers to do it for the group which wins over the approval of the group’s leader, Sgt. Eddie Parks, played by Paddy Considine.
When she is out on her own, the viewer sees her transition from a normal, gentle girl, who is excited about wearing some new clothing Miss Justineau has found for her, to a hungry Zombie who doesn’t think twice about feasting on a cat. With each expedition out on her own, she learns more about the threat around her and soon becomes confident enough to do something about it.
Glenn Close plays Dr. Caldwell and is focused on what is best for humanity – finding a cure for the disease. Her initial attempt at dissecting Melanie is interrupted and now Melanie is well aware of her goal and remains cautious around the Doctor.
The storyline differs slightly from the novel’s, but if you haven’t read the book than it’s not a big deal for the viewer. What makes this Zombie film different from others is the introduction of these special hybrid zombie kids, who have the ability to think for themselves but also turn into child ‘hungries’ as soon as they get a whiff of their human neighbours. There are also a few unique things in this Zombie universe like, Zombie repellant, blocker gel, and fast running zombies who also stand around asleep, unless they hear a noise or smell a human scent which also makes for intense scenes like when the characters have to walk through crowds of Zombies.
There are a few predictable moments in the film, like when one soldier is separated from the group and is lured into a dark food storage area, and the viewer can guess what happens after that.
A different kind of Zombie thriller, that stands apart from other Zombie films, yet still includes the element of surprise, The Girl With All The Gifts, is one film that is definitely worth checking out.