Film Review – The Girl With All The Gifts (2016)

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Those pesky zombies aren’t going anywhere soon. This latest tale of the walking dead is based on M.R Carey novel about a world gone to hell due to a fungal infection.

This fungal infection, ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which creates zombie people with a taste for human flesh has ravaged the world. In an underground bunker Glenn Close’s scientist is experimenting on infected children. These children seem to be normal, unlike there older counterparts, they talk and don’t get hungry for man flesh unless they can smell blood or sweat. Gemma Arterton plays the children’s teacher, and unlike the scientists and the soldiers in the bunker, she treats the children as humans not as monsters. Her favourite member of the class is Melanie, a talkative, quick learner played by newcomer Sennia Nanua. When the base is attacked Arterton, Close, Nanua and a few soldiers go on a trip across the country, trying to survive and discover a cure.

This is director Colm McCarthy’s first feature, after working primarily in television. This film had an incredibly small budget and unfortunately does feel like something made directly for television. It comes across as a two parter that belongs on ITV over an Easter weekend at 7pm.

The film fails to horrify, both in jumps and body horror. It also fails to make us care about the characters. The film starts in school and certainly is as entertaining as a maths lesson and without any tension, their journey through the infected wasteland does little more than bore.

I’m sure the book has more to it but this feature film fails to succeed on almost any level. Glenn Close is quite good in it though, which is something.

[rating=2] | Harry Davenport

Horror, Drama | UK, 2016 |15| Warner Bros. | 23rd September 2016 (UK) | Dir.Colm McCarthy |Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine,Fisayo Akinade