Kamloops Film Festival in review: The Girl with all the Gifts

Each year, The Omega reviews the films presented at the Kamloops Film Festival. The festival runs through March 11.

With all due comparisons to the video game The Last of Us considered, this zombie apocalypse film has more on its brain than mindless carnage. From director Colm McCarthy, the film works within well-trotted territory to deliver scenes that will frighten and intrigue often at the same moment. Following a young girl named Melanie, played by a pretty spectacular newcomer Sennia Nanua, who is infected with a fungal zombie-like virus before she is forced from her daily routine and into the hostile world of survival.

While never glorifying the violence of the film, it does a good job at using gore to emphasize the critical decisions of all the main characters, even at the expense of a few fluffy friends. Several surprising moments will cause both tension and confusion from the audience as a little retrospect will completely undo some sequences and decisions. But it is never so much to intrude on the tale of humanity’s survival.

Mainly focused on a group of soldiers after their compound is not longer deemed safe, the group must keep pushing forward if they are to ensure that they make it to the next day.

The performances from Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine work well in understated caricatures that unfortunately are never fully developed due to the limiting source material. The filmmakers work well in creating their destroyed, apocalypse-ridden English countryside with a muted colour palette and fairly average cinematography that provides more of a backing to Nanua’s performance more than creating the most compelling imagery possible. If zombie films pique your interest and you are looking for something that fits the mould and brings a few new ideas to the mix, then there are plenty worse films you could check out.