The Girl With All The Gifts Review

The Girl With All The Gifts is a 2016 post-apocalyptic zombie horror thriller drama film directed by Colm McCarthy, starring Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine, Sennia Nanua, and Fisayo Akinade. Based on the novel of the same name written by M. R. Carey, the plot is set in a dystopian future after a fungal infection nearly wipes out humanity, and focuses on the struggle of a scientist, a teacher, and two soldiers who embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.


  • Good performance by the cast
  • Great performance by Sennai Nanua
  • Great performance by Gemma Arterton
  • Interesting story
  • Great use of make-up effects
  • Score is good


  • Not compelling story
  • Characters lack development

Plot: The story is set around the events of the surrounding a zombie hybrid named Melanie as she bands with survivors of a zombie attack as they seek safety.  The story is pretty original though it doesn’t feel as compelling as it could’ve been. It does share a high developing arc for the character of Melanie but there’s no tension.  Now the movie does leave off on a pretty messed up yet in itself an irony. (4 out of 5)

Characters: The characters are decent however the two stand out characters are Melanie (Nanua) and Helen (Arterton). Helen is the most humane of the group and deeply cares for Melanie.  Melanie is a human/zombie hybrid and is the main protagonist of the film. Melanie is smart, she’s inquisitive;  just an all around likable character.  She’s just so innocent despite how the other characters treat her and her affliction.  Eddie Parks (Considine) is kind of the hardass but does overtime warm up to Helen.  Caroline Caldwell (Close) is a scientist who’s trying to develop a vaccine to the fungal infection.  She isn’t a bad character but she’s a character that could’ve been more likable had she been able to overcome her goal.  Sgt. Keiran Gallagher (Akinade) is the weakest character of the group.  There should’ve been more written into the character. (4 out of 5)

Cast: Great performances by the main and supporting cast. Definite praise should be given to Sennai Nanua. Good job by supporting cast  Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine, and Fisayo Akinade. (4 out of 5)

Visuals:  Thumbs up to the make-up effects. The zombies look good, even with the fungal infection added. The world looks and feels dystopian. And the wide shots of city and landscape are to be admired. (3 out of 5)

Score: The score is pretty good. The long drawnout tones definitely keep the movie suspenseful. Gotta give it to Cristobal Tapia de Veer for the musical composition. (3 out of 5)

Writing:  The script and writing is written rather well.  Also, Colm McCarthy does a really good job with the presentation of the movie.  There wasn’t really much development to the characters outside of Melanie. There could’ve been so much more done for them. There is one or two sequences that could’ve gone better.  Praise has got to be given to the description and setup of the disease.  It’s fungal and plant based and how it interacts with humans while also have various stages of its own is pretty cool.  The idea for the hybrid children is also a pretty interesting idea. The first sequence is when the base is breached.  There’s really no build up, no breakdown of what’s happening.  It’s just chaos and zombies popping up everywhere and there should be some level of security measures put in place.  This is the same plot point like in the 2011 World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries 2.  Rather than have the base immediately overrun the script should’ve let it be a generally building event. (3 out of 5)

The Verdict:  In the end, The Girl With All The Gifts is a pretty awesome zombie film and definitely gifts it’s own take on the zombie genre.  Although there could’ve been some things they could’ve done better with the characters as well as putting more tension and urgency into the plot, the characters are good, acting is great, story and setting pretty interesting, good score, and great use of special effects.  The Girl With All The Gifts gets 4 out of 5.

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