The Girl With All The Gifts (2016)

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SurvivorsSennia Nanua (Melanie); Gemma Arterton (Helen Justineau); Glenn Close (Dr. Caroline Caldwell); Paddy Considine (Sgt. Eddie Parks); Fisayo Akinade (Kieran Gallagher)

SPOILERS

After a fungal based plague plunges the human race into a dystopian world ravaged by rage like zombies (hungrys as they are called in the book and movie), a group of soldiers, doctors and a teacher whole up in a somewhat secure base where they are housing not only themselves but also a group of school age children who are more deadly then they appear. The children were born or emerged after their mothers were infected with the fungus making them hybrids. They are completely normal children but will go all chompy if they smell any sort of human scent. The survivors use a blocker to keep them from smelling delicious to the savage little beasts. Something goes horribly wrong and the base is overrun by the hungrys and what’s left of the humans scatter.

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The movie centres on one of the children Melanie, an intelligent and inquisitive hungry who has become attached to Helen Justineau, the children’s teacher. Justineau knows the children aren’t just kids in her class but the line between innocent and monster becomes blurred as she in turn becomes attached to Melanie. By far Justineau is the only one on the base who seems to have some compassion for the kids. On the side of only seeing the kids as monsters and specimens is Sgt. Parks, the hardened military man and Dr. Caldwell the butcher who is trying to find a cure and will dissect the children to get. This makes up the main players and they must try to find help out in the world that is ravaged by hungrys, fighting the monsters and each other.

I read the book and liked it. I watch the movie and also liked it but as is common with movies made from books there seems to be holes in the story. That comes from someone who has read the book and notices things missing and it seems like things are unexplained. I could be wrong and that didn’t change my enjoyment of the flick. The casting was good, not how I pictured the characters but great acting by all and since Mike Carey wrote the screenplay from the book he wrote, it was well done. The hungrys were gross and the premise of a fungal zombie infection reminded me of The Last of Us.

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Final Thoughts: I enjoyed this movie even with the condensed story line which led to a fast paced flick and kept the story from dragging. The relationships among the characters were straight forward and not weighed down by too much drama. While Melanie is the focus of the movie it felt like she was missing something whereas in the book she is much more developed character. But the best part was the end. I’m sucker for a hopeless ending. Well, hopeless for some but a new beginning for others. 3.5 children out of 5.

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