There are a number of limited things one can include with zombie movies before they get boring. Sure, there are zombies hungry for humans and brains and ‘the humans will go extinct if a cure isn’t introduced’ drama. That’s true for every movie with zombies in it. Needed are exceptions to rule. Zombieland and Shaun of the dead were such exceptions.
Enter ‘The Girl with All the Gifts.’
The movie starts with a kid counting from one to thirty. There is little to tell, except obvious things from hush and push that it’s a military base with kids. The kids are strapped to chairs and they are assembled in what appears to be a classroom. The teacher makes them remember things from the periodic table. Many kids fail here. But Melanie. She’s intelligent. Following events happens where the base is overrun by zombies and a group of survivors manages to get out.
The gifts Melanie has, this movie explores them. Writing them would be like writing spoilers. I’d refrain. There is a certain innocence to the character of Melanie. Her primary instincts make her dangerous to others, but she’s kind to Miss Justineau. It’s shown when she, unsuccessfully, tries to refrain herself from attacking her. She knows trying is futile, but she tries anyway.
The aerial shots of a ravaged human world, they are beautiful. Beautiful in a sense that the aesthetics of theirs have been withdrawn and overrun by vegetation. They are not a tool to move the story forward, but rather distractions. This movie doesn’t concern itself with the world and its saving. It has a group and it’s focused on how each person is different in it. Survival is paramount for everyone. They want to live. But there’s more to them, like Dr. Caldwell wanting to make a vaccine and Melanie trying to interact with the newfoud world.
I liked this movie. For it has something exceptional for the zombie movies.