Director Colm McCarthy and writer Mike Carey’s (book and screenplay) “The Girl With All The Gifts” is described on IMDB as: “A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.” Yeah. And “Casablanca” is about a pick-up in a third-world bar.
This is the real thing, a horror movie with something on its mind, with terrific performances, genuine chills, a real beating heart, and a last ten minutes that will make you lose your mud.
The set-up is simple: you read it above. Zombie apocalypse. Society has collapsed, and there is a mysterious military/research facility where they keep strange children in Hannibal Lector-style masks while teaching them fairy tales. Real WTF stuff, but it all works. Frickin’ GLEN CLOSE plays a scientist, and plays the living hell out of her role. GEMMA ARTERTON is another scientist, who develops a strange bond with SENNIA NANUA, that aforementioned special child. Every actress KILLS.
And…that’s all I’m gonna say, except that it subverts your expectations at every turn, and is instantly one of the top ten zombie movies ever made. This is the evolution of the form, where the zombie outbreak (and even there, they do things I’ve never seen before!) is just the background to a serious, intelligent inquiry into the nature of love, life, sacrifice, and even race relations. Oh, yeah, Melanie is black (or at least mixed race) did I forget to tell you that? And that, yes, it matters within the imagery of the film? Tananarive watched it last night (streaming on Amazon) and realized we’d found a movie for the AFROFUTURISM class. And a top-notch one.
(NOTE: Anyone who knows anyone connected with the movie who can hook us up with a Skype interview would be our friend forever. We REALLY want to talk to someone who can represent an amazing, inspiring, horrifying movie!)
See it. Support it. We want more of THESE. For lovers of horror, SF, and genre film of all kinds, an “A.” For moviegoers in general who can handle a bit of the red stuff, a “B+”