Following the release of a new strain of fungal infection, Britain has been overrun with the victims of this cursed disease; braindead, flesh-hungry, fast-moving Zombies. Isolated pockets of survivors remain, struggling forward in the middle of hostile country, the hope of an eventual cure driving them on. One group finds home in a sheltered bunker and is protected by the remnants of an ever-dwindling military. Among the group are children, special individuals who have somehow contracted the fungal disease though still retain their human facilities - the power of speech and rational thought, for example. It is with these special "hybrids" that doctor Caroline Caldwell hopes to find that cure and save mankind. However, with relentless attacks from the "hungries" (the Zombie infected), the bunker falls. Less than a handful of the military present survived the attack, and they, including the doctor, a "hybrid" called Melanie and her favourite teacher, are now on the run, moving over hostile ground and through infected cities to try and reach other human colonies. With Melanie seemingly the only remaining "hybrid" in existence and no communication with the stronghold of the living, has the fate of humanity already been sealed?
Britain must be a good spot for films labelled as Zombie movies; first 28 Days Later and now The Girl with All the Gifts. The Girl with All the Gifts is a good, thought-provoking movie though, I felt that, while offering a strong start, the enjoyment tailed off towards the end. Initially, its deliberately all a bit confusing; who are these children, why are they kept in restraints, why are they being educated in things that do not really seem relevant at present, just how much of the world is left following the outbreak of infection? There are some really entertaining and tense moments here as the undead assault the defending bunker and the overwhelmed military struggle to keep the place together that bit longer. As the film progresses, the story is gradually revealed and, especially after the attack which brings down the base, it's this narrative journey combined with the interaction of characters with conflicting motives, that keeps you watching. The main drawback is that this 'revelation by inches' theme is slightly boring on its own. For a land that is filled with charging Zombies and a struggling military desperate to hold them back, there are very few high-action scenes which seems like a missed opportunity. Then, there is the ending of the film which, spoilers aside, goes for a massive shock factor reminiscent of Stephen King's The Mist. Sadly, I don't think the film manages to pull off the dramatic conclusion it wants that convincingly, simply provoking more questions; conundrums that will never be answered.