THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS Blu-ray Review
In a facility outside of London, there is a group of people who are teaching some young kids some advanced knowledge. This includes literature and exactly where elements are on the periodic table as well as their atomic number. The strange thing about the situation isn’t what their beings taught but each child is bound to a wheelchair with straps and they’re isolated when they sleep. Melanie is enthusiastic, engaging in the lessons and seems a little different from the others.
Helen is their instructor and you can see that she cares for these children, even though the rest of the people there are incredibly afraid of them. Helen is infatuated with Melanie the most and you can see that there is a bond between them. The reason is that these children are infected and have zombie tendencies when provoked. So then why or keep them at all…?
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the debut feature film by Colm McCarthy and based on the novel of the same name by M.R. Carey. I enjoyed the film from the cinematography to the acting and right down to the casting. The cast works very well together and the choices for the characters have the necessary chemistry you need in any film. As I mentioned, Gemma Arterton plays a compassionate instructor who looks at the children differently than the others. She sees them as children rather than experiments. Also, Glen Close as Dr. Caldwell is a great choice. The tunnel vision and lack of compromise sees her as the monster rather Melanie. Sennia Nanua, who is both the newcomer and the standout of the cast, plays Melanie. She’s a young kid but she has incredible range for being so young. She makes it easy for her to pull off being a docile kid or a snapping zombie at the flip of a switch. I can already see that as long as she stays hungry to work and humble, she is going places.
I went into this movie knowing absolutely not a thing about it. After watching it, I really dig it. There are so many tropes that a zombie film should have in it and this film shies away from most of them. First of all, the zombies are infected by a fungus that affects the brain rather than an uncontrollable virus. The people in the facility have a lotion or cream that is rationed out to them to stop this skin from emitting scent to attract the infected or agitate the children.
Most of the time, it seems like zombie films are in the early stages of worldwide infection but in this movie, they are well enough into the initial spread that scientists have developed lotion. Also, the children learning isn’t like what has been done in movies like DAY OF THE LIVING DEAD but there is a unique spin on that premise. The smell of human can easily set off the children and spreads like a wildfire through the classroom.
Gemma Arterton – Helen Justineau
Paddy Considine – Sgt Eddie Parks
Glenn Close – Dr Caroline Caldwell
Sennia Nanua – Melanie
Anamaria Marinca – Dr Selkirk
Dominique Tipper – Devani
Fisayo Akinade – Pvt Kieran Gallagher
Anthony Welsh – Pvt Dillon
The trainer is a 1080p AVC presentation that is a mixed bag in the video department. There are a lot of location and lighting changes that affect how the filmmakers shot as well as edited the scenes. In some of the indoor scenes, the images look as if some of the rougher edges have been smoothed over. The lower light most likely cause some contrasting issues that included blocking and there is some there but you can tell that it has been fixed. The coloring shifts from a drab, cold grey tone but when things move outside, the coloring reminds me of a lighter sepia look. There are no brilliant or bold colors, however, in some of the army fatigues, the greens are on the stronger side.
The audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix which has been done very well. About 1/2 to 1/3 is spent in the underground bunker where there are plenty of reverberating sounds down the long hallways and in the rooms. Once they are outside of the complex, there is a silence that makes the world feel dead. The mix gets louder when there are large packs of zombies in a horde by filling the count field with the sounds of the dead. Also, the gunfire echoes in both the open and closed spaces showing the minimalist post-apocalyptic settings.
SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING
-Unwrap the Secret World of The Girl With All the Gifts: This is a featurette about the various parts of making this movie.
2-disc set w/ 1 Blu-ray Disc and 1 DVD
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.00:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Like I said, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS isn’t your typical zombie movie and if they could’ve made a new sub-genre for the movie, it would better let people who haven’t seen it understand what they are in for. It’s an enjoyable film with a lot of strong actors telling an interesting story. This release gets strong marks in both the video and audio. I was hoping for a little more in the way of extras because there are so many things I want to know more about but the one featurette does give some good information. This film is something I can easily recommend to anyone interested in the zombie genre or just a good story.