Starring 12 year old Sennia Nanua, The Girl With all the Gifts is a next level drama/horror/thriller zombie flick with a couple of fresh zombie plot twist. Going in, I knew nothing about the story. I have not read the novel by Mike Carey, who wrote the screenplay as well. (Hell, I just found out it was adapted from a book for the first time today, quite honestly.) I had not seen a trailer. Nothing. But I was pleasantly surprised by this zombie movie with a message.
The thing about zombie movies is that they’re all very similar and follow a tried and true formula. There are usually some sort of post-apocalyptic-type conditions. A group of people are fighting for their survival. The group searches for shelter. The group searches for supplies. The group searches for food. The group searches for safety. There’s always some conflict within the group. Some of the group lives, some of the group dies. They search for a cure or an antidote, blah, blah, blah. In recent years, what has set these movies apart is mostly the advancement of special effects and increased gore. So, all one really has to do is write a script (because it’s just so easy…) so that it stands out from the rest of the zombie movies in the smallest way, and it makes all the difference somehow; to people who enjoy zombie movies, at any rate. That is what The Girl with All the Gifts achieves. It stands out from other zombie movies that have come before by approaching the human/zombie relationship in a new way. It is smartly written so that you begin to look at a young zombie as nothing more than a child (who will literally eat your face if given the chance) with special needs. You even grow to like the zombie and not in a comedic sense. But, ‘would you or could you ever trust the zombie?’ becomes the question. This is where the suspense of this movie lies and it is definitely a welcome departure, an upgrade even, from your typical zombie movie.
The Girl with All the Gifts has plenty of action. It has a bit of humor to it. It never gets silly. You become invested in the story because of its unique twists. The acting is great. Sennia Nanua does an amazing job of just being a regular, smart, inquisitive, sometimes too talkative, smart alecky, 12 year old kid with a very unique problem. The set design, cinematography, wardrobe, makeup and effects, are all quite good. Although, unfortunately, there is one glaring problem with the plot that makes absolutely no sense; and it happens twice. If you see it, I believe that you will recognize what I’m talking about immediately. But hey, you gotta make a movie somehow, right? Sometimes every little thing just cannot be made to make sense. But this problem diminished the quality of what could have been a stronger movie.
At any rate, The Girl with All the Gifts earned 8.5 out of 10 bloops. If you like a good zombie movie, you should enjoy this one. Two people I know who have read the book do not care for the adaptation. At all. You may feel differently. Who knows? It is showing at only one theater in New York City, The Village East Cinema, if you want to see it on the big screen and I believe you can also catch it On Demand today.
1 = worst ever, avoid at all cost
2 = very bad, forget about it!
3 = poor movie, not recommended
4 = not good, even for free – NO!
5 = so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6 = not bad, could have been better
7 = good movie, worth seeing
8 = great movie, don’t miss it!
9 = excellent movie, a must see!
10 = a masterpiece, go see it now!
- Fist Fight – I won’t be reviewing Fist Fight. Couldn’t find myself motivated to write about it in the week since I’ve seen it, so I’m going to let it go. It was alright. Nothing to write home about. Maybe even cute. 7 out of 10 bloops.
- The “Upcoming” section is now renamed “What I’m Watching this Upcoming Week” since I am learning that just because I watch it doesn’t mean it will inspire a review.
What I’m Watching this Upcoming Week
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Florence Foster Jenkins
I Am Not Your Negro