The Girl With All The Gifts, with a screenplay, based on the book of the same name both by M.R. Carey was released this week, and as fans of the book, we rushed out to see it (our book review is here: )
We loved the book, but of course, that can then make a film harder to win you over, but on this occasion, whilst some small changes, this was almost like the pages had come to life.
For that, Carey’s script deserves credit, especially as it is his first one, and the director Colm McCarthy (best known for his TV work on shows like Sherlock and Peaky Blinders) has done an excellent job too.
The cast all do excellent work. Newcomer Sennia Nanua is excellent as Melanie (‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ of the title); Gemma Arterton is again great as Helen; Paddy Considine does extremely well as Eddie, the solder we dislike at first but warm to, but for us the real stand out was Glenn Close as Caldwell, a character we disliked in the book and because of her performance, we disliked her just as much on screen, she really brought the character to life!
The sets are great as you really do get a sense of the dystopian future of the book, the score by Cristobal Tapia de Veer adds to the film and the ‘Hungries’ have excellent make-up, special effects to show the shooting of them are particularly gory too.
The story follows the book well, sometime in the future, the human race has been affected by a fungal disease sending them into a Zombie-like status, known as ‘Hungries’.
A small group of children have the flesh eating zombie like traits of ‘Hungries’, yet also show they have the ability to think and feel.
The children including Melanie, are kept captive in an army base, where they are taught in a classroom environment by Helen Justineau. It is clear Melanie looks up to Helen, and the feelings are felt the same way back, as she really is an exceptional student.
However, Dr Caroline Caldwell is also taking these children out of class, to do deadly experiments, many involving their death as she seeks a cure for the disease.
It should be noted that whilst the children look normal in class, Eddie Parks, an army sergeant who is not fond of them, shows us what they are exactly capable of doing when near human flesh, proving to Helen they are not harmless.
When Caldwell notes the exceptional abilities of Melanie, she chooses her for her next experiments to find a cure, but before she can carry them out, the army base is ravaged by ‘hungries’.
Parks manages to secure a vehicle and gets out of the base with Caldwell, another soldier called Kieran (Fisayo Akinade) stopping only to collect Helen when they spot her prior to being attacked by ‘Hungries’. She had been saved by Melanie, who has tasted human flesh for the first time, stopping those holding her from escaping.
We then follow their journey to another secure base near London, and it is here the film really shows us the devastation of the disease, as we see the group of 5 survivors search for water and food within deserted and run down shopping centres, full of ‘Hungries’ creating some extremely tense scenes.
We also learn more about the ‘Hungries’ themselves, in particular how they show they have maternal instincts.
We also learn of the next phase of the fungal disease in the form of seeds that are growing from the ‘hungries’ which when they eventually open, will release the disease airborne and destroying all that is left of the human race.
Will our 5 all survive? Does Melanie hold a cure? Will they find the next base? You can find these answers out in The Girl With All The Gifts, rated 15
Watch the trailer here:
Buy the book at Amazon here:
Buy the film at Amazon here:
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