The Girl with All the Gifts full movie review - Gifted Girl
This is my review of The Girl With All The Gifts (spoiler free)
THE GIRL WITH all the gifts opens with Melanie (Sennia Nanua) in a boxed jail cell counting in her head, until a hockey-like siren sounds and two heavily soldiers come to the door and wheel her to a classroom full of other infected children who become frenzied when they smell uninfected blood and they learn some lessons with their teacher Miss. Justineau (Gemma Arterton). Each day is like this until she is put under the microscope with Dr. Caldwell and her desperate attempt to find a vaccine and she thinks that Melanie is the answer out of their struggle. The base where they are hiding out is then attacked by a whole horde of un-dead and Melanie along with everybody else must escape alongside Sergeant Parks (Paddy Considine) and their fight for survival has begun as the team is always weary of their safety. Sergeant Parks is a marine type soldier who despises the disease and believes that every single infected must die including Melanie, he doesn't see Melanie and her gifts he just sees a monster, and he just wants her dead. Melanie is unlike any other Hungry she doesn't feel the need to feed on human flesh well not the flesh of Miss Justineau anyway.
Melanie is just a child with an extraordinary gift of immunity to a mysterious fungal disease which as the film goes on we learn what that disease can do. Adapted from the 2014 British best-selling novel by Mike Carey who also helped write the screenplay alongside director Colm McCarthy in only his second feature this is a haunting tale of survival and love and Nanua was just the perfect discovery to play the role of Melanie. Unlike other zombie-ish movies out there instead this is very clever with a lot of drama and scares rolling through it, in this the infected called Hungries hunt in packs and they are a clever mix-up of between the sprinting infected in 28 Days Later and the fungus covered infected from The Last of Us but they also do the most unique thing a part that nobody has seen in a zombie movie before these infected fall asleep, and when the team of survivors must walk quietly between an entire horde of sleeping un-dead. Plus this movie learns the lesson that guns are loud and when you shoot a gun you can get an entire horde on you, also the mass hordes of un-dead don't hang around in buildings they just loom on the streets of London.
As the story goes on the female characters Miss Justineau and Dr. Caldwell even during her desperate attempt to make a vaccine, start to fall in love with Melanie, they start to see that she is a wonderful character who doesn't have the desire to eat them. However Miss Justineau saves Melanie after she eats two soldiers who turn on her and after that Melanie tries everything to stop a frenzied horde attacking her. Not just the female's fall in love with her as the story goes on the she grows on the two men even Sergeant Parks who is in a desperate fight for survival starts to see that she is much more than a monster, she even helps them get rid of the mass hordes but not by killing them instead she lures them away with an animal or another living being. The story is brilliantly complex and very moving as it goes on there are some very tender moments surrounded by some dark laughs and intense scares throughout. Melanie starts to feel like a normal child again and she sees Miss. Justineau as a motherly figure to her. The third act gets even more complex as we learn about these pods which if they are opened they will end civilization as they no it, because the infected will be airborne and anybody who breathes it will turn into an angry monster. Melanie grows on another soldier named Kieran (Fisayo Akinade) but there is one moment that we feel for that character as he ends up like the other characters in many other movies like this, you know exactly how that is.
Along the way the team of survivors and a monster not seen as a full monster find another answer to survival and this is where Dr. Caldwell begins to turn on Melanie as she is worried about the damnation of human life, in a plan that wasn't quite thought out. Although Dr. Caldwell still loves Melanie she just wants the best for her and, as the third act goes on the story gets upsetting as these characters are in total danger, and Melanie does something to save her soul and to save Miss. Justineau in the saddest ending ever that may even make you cry the finale is powerful and moving and very upsetting at first we see a girl whose smart, beautiful and strong and this is shown throughout the film there is one moment when she shows her strong side in a move that's a bit brutish but still quite engaging to see. Despite the camaraderie during the finale it's very powerful, moving and extremely beautiful and the story ends the way it started, this is an immaculate zombie-ish movie that isn't just the best British zombie film but it's the best zombie film ever.
VERDICT: The best zombie-ish movie ever. Sennia Nanua major discovery, but it's the dense social commentary and moral dilemmas ahead that will haunt you.