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Speaking of Zombies… do we have a Zombie renaissance? A Zombiessance? I sometimes wonder how the production cycles work to spurn out several films from the same sidelined genres within a couple of months… And as for all Zombie movies, it is difficult to stay original. “The Girl with all the gifts” tries to be different, tries to take a page from Danny Boyle’s ventures into Zombieland in terms of production design, shows a dystopian setting in a bleak Britain in the grip of an epidemic by “Hungries” (well… Zombies), and tries to add some juvenile heroism. This is all pretty straightforward, with the exception of the fact that there are naturally hybrid creatures, such as the wonderfully curious and reflective child Melanie (Sennia Nanua), and that the world looks very British in the same way that Children of Men looked very British. British dystopia can look a lot like British reality, just with zombies… it’s a bit more grey than other dystopias. Melanie has to escape from the research facility in which she is held, together with a rather ruthless scientist (Glenn Close… where have you been?) and two soldiers (Paddy Considine and Fisayo Akinade). They have some form of mission, but to be honest, I already forgot what they did and why they were doing it. What’s important is that they need to make it somewhere, and that Melanie is essential in this, because she is the only one who can safely walk between the Hungries and the humans.

I was not really bored, but I consumed this the way you consume something that has been on your plate quite often, with reduced interest and little enthusiasm. Sennia Nanua is great, especially in the opening sequences where she is shown to be part of a ghastly educational programme. Then there is a lot of running, shouting and shooting, and the story went the expected direction. Only towards the end does the script find back some of the originality of the beginning, with some unpleasant resolutions emerging among which the characters have to choose.

After seeing this, I was actually regretting not having read the book instead. I guess that as a science fiction horror hybrid, this could work pretty well, given the larger space available for the respective characters and the establishment of the world design.

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