So far 2017 has been a damn fine year for film. And not just in Hollywood but in independent and foreign film. In the horror genre, there have been a solid handful of films that have just blown me away including The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Train to Busan, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Split just to name a few. But one that is topping all my lists this year is Colm McCarthy’s The Girl with All the Gifts which is on shelves now.
In a near and uncertain future, mankind has been ravaged by a mysterious and sweeping fungal disease, turning all those affected into rampaging flesh eating ‘hungries’. But at a rural military outpost in Britain, scientists are running tests on hybrid children to try and find a cure. When the base is overrun, a small group including scientist Dr. Caldwell (Glenn Close), schoolteacher Helen Justineau (Gemma Arterton), Sgt. Eddie Parks (Paddy Considine) and one hybrid girl named Melanie (Sennia Nanua) escapes and must navigate their way through the apocalyptic world to find safe harbor.
I can’t tell you how much I love The Girl with All the Gifts. It is such a beautiful, character driven, brilliantly directed/written/acted film with stunning production design. And that is one kick ass cast. Not only are Arterton, Close and Considine some of the best actors out there, but Sennia Nanua, making her acting debut (!) is absolutely hypnotic on screen. She oozes charisma, demands empathy, is funny and yet remains terrifying in a wonderfully restrained way. She is an unintentional monster that you will fall in love with. And I also must mention that the production design on this film is some of the most impressive post-apocalyptic work since I Am Legend. The Girl with All the Gifts is one of the absolute top films of the past few years and I highly recommend everyone get out there and buy it. Or at least rent it on VOD, but you will probably want to own it afterwards, so don’t say I didn’t tell you.