The Girl with all the Gifts (2016 film)

The Girl with all the Gifts presents a fairly unique take on the aged zombie genre. At least on film, that is. I say that because The Girl with all the Gifts is a blatant ripoff of the hit video game, The Last of Us.

Normally, I’d try to avoid the comparisons between the two properties, but I can’t. I can’t judge The Girl with all the Gifts fairly because the comparisons with the Last of Us are so glaringly obvious. If I were a legal representative of Naughty Dog, the developers of The Last of Us, I’d seriously consider suing the makers of this film as well as the writer of the book, which was released a year after The Last of Us.

Here’s a list of some of the similarities:

  • Both feature a young female who might present a cure for humanity
  • Very similar aesthetics & mise en scene e.g. set design, colour palette
  • Fungal infested zombies that react to sound
  • Authoritative military/government figures
  • Storylines concerning characters traveling across a dystopian country
  • Both feature the use of infectious spores

There are many more.

Trying to ignore these elements, The Girl with all the Gifts is a perfectly fine film. It has a great cast, the young actress in the lead role is very likeable while Gemma Arterton and Glenn Close are particularly good as the differing guardian figures. There are some decent action scenes, but this isn’t an action film. The film is well shot and features some great cinematography and it’s pretty well paced, only revealing vital information when it’s suitable.

Things do begin to fall apart in the third act though. Obviously I won’t spoil things, but the whole conclusion of the film is dissatisfying and feels off, tone wise. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to find the ending funny or sad. In relation to this, I don’t know what the filmmakers are trying to say, the message gets a little muddled or lost in the end and the film kind of just stops and becomes a little pointless and forgettable.

There hasn’t been a zombie film that’s reinvented the genre like this since 28 Days Later. That being said, other mediums of storytelling have done this and they’ve done it much better. The Girl with all the Gifts is perfectly fine but ultimately forgettable, I’d only recommend it to die hard zombie fans.


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