Review in Brief: The Girl with all the Gifts (2016)

It’s THE LAST OF US meets 28 DAYS LATER, and features the politest, most adorable zombie ever committed to film. Considering the scale of the production, its unavoidable Britishness, the joins occasionally show, but mostly THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is effective, tense and eerie. The film’s strongest stretch is the opening, where you are given space to work out this strange and sinister world for yourself. It relies a little too much on formulae later on, and eventually Glenn Close starts to laboriously explain everything, but throughout the story is kept compelling by the chemistry between “hungry” (alt terms for the undead shared with another nice twist on the zombie movie, WARM BODIES) newcomer Sennia Nanua and her escort/teacher/surrogate mother played with warmth by Gemma Arterton. It might not end up quite as individual as it hoped to be, but because it gets the key relationship just right, The Girl with all the Gifts works really well as a story on its own terms. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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