TIFF 2016: ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ Delivers A Fresh-Faced Zombie

Who’s Behind It

Seasoned TV director Colm McCarthy, who’s got episode credits on shows like Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Peaky Blinders. The Girl with All the Gifts is his second feature film. Mike Carey, author of the novel this movie is based on, also wrote the screenplay.

Who’s In It

Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, and newcomer Sennia Nanua. The Expanse’s Dominique Tipper also has a small role.

2Who’ll Love It

Zombie movie enthusiasts who want to know what it feels like to at least consider cheering for the brain eaters and readers of Carey’s novel hoping for a faithful film adaptation.

What’s It About

In the relatively near future, normal, healthy humans are losing the war against a fungus that turns its hosts into flesh-eating zombies. Nicknamed ‘Hungries’, the hosts have harboured the fungus long enough for it to produce a second generation—kids who are unlike their mindless, zombified parents. They can think, feel, learn, and accommodate the fungus without it rotting their bodies. Too bad about that lingering craving for human flesh. The military protects the last of the uninfected population, including a scientist (Close) who sees these junior Hungries as the key to an experimental vaccine, and a teacher (Arterton) who takes a less clinical approach.


Why You Should See It

The pre-teen dystopian flick/zombie apocalypse mashup is something sort of new in a category that’s become quite crowded over the last few years. Expect to be hooked by the world McCarthy creates at the film’s opening scene. And while Girl takes some missteps as it trips towards a resolution, the unique turn it takes in the end is worth hanging in for. Plus: when is it ever not fun to watch Close play the bad guy?

When You Can See It

The Girl with All the Gifts will have its North American premiere during TIFF’s Midnight Madness program. The first screening is Wednesday, September 14 at Ryerson or catch it when it plays a second time on Sunday, September 18th at 12:45pm.

Check out the trailer below.