The Girl With All The Gifts (2017)

 

Plot: When a fungus turns most of the population into flesh-eating zombies, a scientist seeking a cure studies young Melanie, who’s infected yet mentally normal. As the researcher prepares to dissect Melanie’s brain, a horde of the undead disrupt the plan.

My Review: I got this in the mail to review about a week ago, and due to pink eye (which I’ve never had in all my almost 36yrs of life, or some weird eye injury as other doctors believed) I was unable to watch it as I couldn’t physically see anything. I felt that would just be totally unfair to “listen” to a movie and give a blind review. So here’s my actual review once I got to see the movie.

I’ll be frank with you. In the beginning I didn’t like the movie that much. I didn’t hate it either. But it was strange. But by the end I felt cheated, or did I? I’m still not sure. I’ll get to that a little later.

The movie starts out with a little girl (Melanie) in what appears to be a jail cell. Soldiers come to get her, and she straps herself into some sort of device like a wheelchair that restrains her. She is taken to a classroom filled with a bunch of children just like her, and we are lead into a retelling of the story of Pandora’s box – letting all the bad out, but in the end there is hope, and that is what gets us through the bad. But in the next scene we see this same cheerful little girl gulping away on mealworms. Live mealworms that is. Just who or what is this little girl we are lead to ask?

The following day, the same routine, the little girl is let out of her cell and taken to class. Where they are given a writing assignment. She writes a story based on Achilles heel and tells the story of a little girl who helps a woman fight off a monster. We see here that her and this teacher, Helen Justineau, have some sort of connection and its rather obvious that Helen was the woman in her story and Helen also cried during the story. But we don’t know what is going on just yet. Why these children are restrained and being subjected to this sort of treatment. And we won’t find out for quite some time. The teacher touches Melanie and gets reprimanded for it by a soldier (Sargent Parks). Who comes in and shows her that the children are actually blood thirsty creatures. Zombie or vampires, we aren’t quite sure, at least for a little while.. This demonstration sets off almost all the children in the classroom. But not Melanie.

Melanie is put back in her cell but not released from her restraints. The teacher later finds her and releases her from them, and during this scene Melanie has some sort of weird reaction like the kids in the classroom. Acting like a zombie of some sort. But Melanie at least warns her what is going on so the teacher can get out before anything happens. Its here we semi learn about “blocker gel” a gel that hides the scent of a human to these zombies. Thus allowing them later to walk among the zombies of the world.

The next morning, Sargent Parks brings Melanie outside, where we see thousands of zombies attempting to break into various fences around what can be assumed as an army base. Soldiers are shooting away and making no progress. And I’ll add right here that the makeup effects of these zombies are not good whatsoever, but they do get better. They look like they may have a little powder on their faces. Considering this is a movie, and not a TV show like The Walking Dead, they should have had better effects for the zombies, but we see in a few minutes that these people aren’t really the walking dead risen from the grave, but actual people who become infected very fast. Melanie is then brought into see the Dr. Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close), who explains to Helen, who breaks in to save Melanie, that they will be creating a vaccine from her. But before they can begin anything the facility is broken into by the zombies and her assistant is turned within seconds of being bitten. Melanie manages to escape and runs outside to attack people who seem to be hurting Helen who is caught in the crossfire. When Helen comes to, they escape with two soldiers and the doctor.

Of course nobody trusts Melanie because she is what she is. Which is later described as a second generation zombie. Someone who was born into it, someone who’s mother was bitten while pregnant. Now we know she’s been raised in this facility all her life and knows nothing else. Therefore, Melanie is always willing to help those that she is with, not knowing any better. Shes formed bonds with these people. Especially her teacher. As a viewer I came to love her character. Maybe it was because she was a child, or good actress. I’m not sure. But I had hope for her and the characters she seemed to want to protect. The others often allow her to leave their presence without handcuffs to scope out the area for them. And willingly she always returns. She even goes out on a limb to try to help one of the soldiers when he is set up and involved in a trap. Yes, the zombies apparently can think enough on their own to trap others. But here’s where I started to have a problem with the movie. There were gangs of children zombies who attacked in groups. A little goofy to me.

At one point during all of this the zombie outbreak is actually semi explained to us. Its a sort of fungus/virus that is taking over the world. Huge displays are formed with hundreds of zombie bodies forged together. The fungus is spreading and forming pods entangling all the dead bodies. Reproducing pods that if are released make this virus airborne. Again the pod idea = silly to me.

But then by the actual end of the movie, I didn’t know what I felt. I loved the character of Melanie, but did I love her for the wrong reasons? She seemed polite and sweet, and wanted to protect her human companions or did I want her to give up her life and become the vaccine and save everyone? But is that what she did? I’m not going to spoil the end for anyone, its not what I do.

But at the end of the day I don’t know if I really REALLY enjoyed this movie. I liked the actors, and the characters, and the concept, it was unique. On one hand I wanted it to end differently….but if it had would I still be thinking about this movie and how it could have gone? Probably not.

Gore/FX: There is a bunch, but I personally wouldn’t say its horribly graphic until a kid is beaten with a baseball bat, and a man is eaten. Even then we really only see the aftermath of both situations.

Sexual Content: None.

Acting: I had no idea going into this movie that it was based in another country. Which really isn’t a problem for me, but sometimes I have issues working through accents. In the end though I didn’t have any issues. I thought the girl who played Melanie was wonderful.

Overall: This wasn’t a favorite movie of mine. I probably won’t watch it again. But at the end of the day it was unique and I was entertained. If you want something a little different with the zombie genre and you’re a zombie lover, I’d give it a shot. I mean there aren’t huge zombie scenes like most movies but its still pretty decent.

My Rating:

View The Trailer

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