The Girl with All the Gifts
With Halloween right around the corner, this seems like a good time for a review of a zombie apocalypse movie, currently available on Netflix.
Spoiler Level: Mild
The premise of The Girl with The Gifts is that a mutated disease has impacted most of humanity, with young people living as functioning zombies. By “functioning”, they can blend in with the remaining humans until their hunger activates. While few human adults are remaining, this group of children is being studied because they had not completely transitioned into zombies. (I won’t spoil the reason why – only to say it’s pretty gross).
Early on, we meet Melanie, the main character, and other children like her in a research facility. It’s interesting to be exposed to both sides of Melanie. At some points, you see a young human girl. At other times, you see her eating habits and realize, hmm… she’s not quite like everyone else. Evil personified or a child who can’t control her behavior?
When the facility is overrun, the survivors venture into what’s left of the world. The plot that follows is a slow burn so people looking for a high octane film will be disappointed. There’s more action in a Walking Dead episode and some of the action in The Girl with The Gifts comes across as a little hokey. Fans of the Walking Dead will see parallels to how humans cope with the living dead.
Philosophical questions are raised throughout the film with some zombie gore thrown in for good measure. Who — or in this case, what — is worth sacrificing to save other human lives? The movie complicates that question when the life in question is not human, but also not quite a monster. It also asks the question if humanity might benefit from a do-over.
The story focus is kids but I would think twice before watching it with young ones since some scenes are disturbing. If you watch it, jump right to it and skip the trailer. It gives away a little too much – similarly with many reviews out there.
Although the story moves at a leisurely pace, the ending leaves you wanting more and is set up for a sequel.
If you want a zombie movie that makes you think, give this one a shot. It’s not a straight human vs zombie flick. The characters are complex and faced with moral dilemmas.
The Girl with All the Gifts: A slow burn with philosophical questions
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Acting - 8/108/10
Music - 8/108/10
Production - 8/108/10
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