Review of The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
Seen in 2019.
The balancing act is a little awkward. A very quick conversion process and automatic cravings for the flesh of the unassimilated are retained from the mainstream non-SF zombie-horror genre. The script does not explain this, and its SF-themed explanations of other classic zombie traits are not particularly good or original, but they are at least substance-monist; I do appreciate that.
The more original (i.e. non-zombie) SF work is similarly half-baked but it does show adequate extrapolation from suspect, unsentimental, dysteleological premises. Intellectually and in terms of a cinematic adventure, there is more—and more interesting—stuff happening than in Day of the Dead (1985). The ending is very John Wyndham.
The adult actors are good, especially Close, who makes an excellent not-so-mad mad scientist. Young Sennia Nanua’s portrayal of Melanie is naturally less skilled, leaving me in doubt as to whether the character’s curiosity, general cheerfulness and inconsistent empathy were intended to be sympathetic, bizarre, creepy or all of the above.