The Arts Report: The Girl With All The Gifts at VIFF


By Arts Reporter Andy Ta

The Girl With All The Gifts, directed by Colm McCarthy and written by Mike Carey, is a zombie film out of the U.K. In the near future a fungal disease has turned much of humanity into brainless flesh-eating creatures known as “hungries” who respond to smell and loud noises. These hungries can transmit their disease to non-infected humans through the bite and humanity is in danger of extinction unless a cure is found. The cure, it turns out, lies in “hungry” children, who still desire flesh to the extent they need to be restrained, but retain their ability to think and empathize. The film follows one of these children, Melanie (played by newcomer Sennia Nanua), as she and a group of humans attempt to contact Beacon, a military base, after their own is breached by the hungries.

This is genre fare, to be sure, but it’s fairly smart genre fare, aware of recent innovations to the genre (these are fast zombies after all) and its actors bring enough charm to the characters that they’re all quite likable, from the aforementioned Sennia Nanua whose Melanie walks a fine line between being annoying and precocious to Paddy Considine’s Sergeant Parks, a gruff military man whose years of fighting the zombie horde have jaded a once a warmer man.

There are some quibbles to be made about the ending, which makes a great degree of thematic and even logical sense, but feels somewhat out of nowhere in the heat of the moment but regardless The Girl With All The Gifts is more than adequately done and a fine way to spend a few hours, especially if you generally like zombie films.

The Girl With All The Gifts has one final showing at the Rio Theatre today 12 October at 9:15 PM