In a dystopian future where for some reason humans survive in secluded camps in which teachers (like Gemma Arterton) are employed to investigate strait-jacketed children under strange circumstances. However the situation goes south and a group of people – soldier Paddy Considine, Scientist Glenn Close, child Sennia Nanua and Gemma Arterton – must travel across Britain in search of safety.
The Girl with all the Gifts is a classic example of a film that works better when you see it knowing as little as possible beforehand. So now allow me to badly tiptoe around saying what happens in the film whilst saying that I did absolutely love it.
Well, I did love it. I love Zombie movies in general and this is one of the finest I’ve seen with an underlying political/humanitarian message to rival Dawn of the Dead. But it also works perfectly as a thriller, or equally as just a character drama. The film generally revolves around four brilliant performances and their journey. And all share the screen equally, all with very well written and deep characters. But that’s nothing less than we’ve all come to expect from Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine so the real revelation is Sennia Nanua who here appears in her first feature length movie. She’s absolutely superb and coming fairly soon after the savage child acting misstep in the BFG it’s very nice to see such a complex and emotional child performance from a British actor.
But I have to say that despite all of these amazing performances and fantastic layered plot the real star for me was Cristobal Tapia de Veer and his utterly spellbinding musical score. Some may be aware of Cristobal (as I was) through his extraordinary work on Channel 4’s Utopia and this is no different in its’ scene-stealing capabilities. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that I think this is 2016’s greatest score.
Overall, The Girl with all the Gifts is a very captivating horror thriller elevated into being (in my opinion) a modern classic of the genre by the incredible musical work of Cristobal Tapia de Veer.