Offering a unique story with a well-written promise, Colm McCarthy’s The Girl With all The Gifts is a very grounded post-apocalyptic zombie thriller. Following a cataclysmic event where humans are a hoard of infested zombies, a group of uninfected children are kept in a remote area, isolated in their own cells for the British Military to run tests in the hopes of finding a cure to the disease.
One individual child (newcomer Sennia Nenua) possesses the means for a cure and is to be dissected. Before the procedure can be carried out, the air base is overrun overwhelming the military presence on the airbase. The film keeps an excellent pace filled with solid acting performances while maintaining the tension. Glenn Close’s performance as the lead scientist is brilliant. Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Fisayo Akinade are very strong in their supporting roles.
There are times where the film loses track of itself; characters are left emotionless and bland. For a horror-thriller, the gore is not over the top, but it can feel heavy handed affecting the story’s structure. Mike Carey was able to expand on some of the ideas in his novel, but he boxed himself in as well. Despite the troubled story, the CGI effects and set designs provide a very lifelike sense of awareness.
In the end, this is a modestly budgeted film with huge aspirations and will appeal to horror fans as well as independent cinema lovers.