TIFF 2016: Our Review of ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2016 by - September 07, 2016

Midnight Madness


It’s a genuinely difficult thing to put a fresh spin on a genre that has been driven into the ground like a dead man walking but The Girl With All The Gifts allows the zombie genre to have some genuine heart and emotional drama without skimping on the gore.

Melanie (Sennia Nanua) is just your average little girl who likes to go to school, read and loves her teacher, Ms. Justineau (Gemma Arterton).  However, Ms. Justineau teaches in a top secret military compound and Melanie is a rare hybrid human/flesh eating zombie who just might hold the key to save the world from the zombie apocalypse that is raging everywhere.  This status quo doesn’t last long as their base is over run and a small group of survivors along with Melanie are on the run from ‘The Hungries’ who only want to feed.

It’s a rare thing as we see a zombie be a compelling and sympathetic character but in Colm McCarthy’s The Girl With All The Gifts we get exactly that as young Sennia Nanua carries the affair as the precocious Melanie.  It doesn’t go overboard with the zombie tropes and allows for genuine character development throughout as the ensemble totally buys into the emotional nature of the piece.  It’s not a movie about surviving the zombie apocalypse but rather how this little girl that we are instinctively terrified of also makes us feel for her.

It’s genre wrapped in character drama in all the right ways.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.

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