Over the last 10 years there has been a surge in zombie flicks to the point of oversaturation, making it difficult for a movie to stick out as an individual. That being said, “The Girl with All the Gifts” manages to leap through the crowded genre with flying colors.
Unlike some zombie films, “The Girl with All the Gifts” begins in a world already ravaged by a virus. Holding ground at a military base, a team of scientists are hard at work as they try to learn about the virus. Their source of study are a group of children born with the disease, but unlike adults they still have an active human conscious allowing them to speak and learn. Once the base’s security fences become compromised the team escapes with one of the test subjects named Melanie as they search for refuge at a nearby safe zone.
The decision to not thoroughly explain the origin of Melanie is a refreshing one. It allows the audience to come up with their own story. Aside from her bloodthirsty tendencies, Melanie is the epitome of a young child. A sense of innocence, compassion and very inquisitive; it’s very easy to fall for Melanie. Not only is she very observant, but her intelligence and sheer bravery elevates her to the ever growing number of heroines in recent years of film.
Being a fungi-type virus, the zombies vary from other monsters within the genre. Instead of having just rotting flesh, the zombies showcase the fungus that is eating away at their bodies. From warts, to cracks in the skin, you really get a feel of the transformation that is occurring. It’s not just the look that’s terrifying, but how they act. Although they only come aware of people through smell, they can run at you like a rabid animal. Scenes that are in wide open terrain puts you in a ground zero point of view, allowing you to see the full destructive force of the hordes.
“The Girl with All the Gifts” becomes a much deeper film throughout its runtime as it explores society’s true colors as humanity is on the brink of extinction. The survivors are at moral odds leaving Melanie in the middle of the verbal exchanges. Almost works as a study piece of how someone unfamiliar with a situation brings light to a dispute through their outside the box mindset.
This state of decay is carried out also through the music.Blending indecipherable voices and pulsing tones, a melancholy atmosphere that’s both dark and beautifully meditative.
Rather being a film that focuses on scares and basic horror tropes, “The Girls with All the Gifts” gives a revitalizing approach with science, fundamentals of humanity and recurring social themes; fleshing out the zombie genre to new heights-no pun intended.