Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Girl with All the Gifts

The zombie genre has been on a weird ride over the last five or so years and it seemed that, like the vampire genre, it was running out of steam, it definitely was taking its toll on me! That was until the other day though and I saw the brilliant new zombie film The Girl with All the Gifts.

The Girl with All the Gifts is an adaptation of the book of the same name, written by M.R Carey. I had read the book a couple years ago and had been pleasantly surprised at how well a zombie story had been presented on the page rather than on the screen. Now it’s on the big screen and there is something about it that feels so fresh, it’s a story like one we haven’t seen before, not even the The Last of Us which many people have compared the trailer to. The film follows a scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future as they embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.

The author of the book also wrote the screenplay for this film, which shows because it sticks very close to the source material and does not hold out on its pretty crazy ending which I thought may have been tampered with. Credit should also go to the casting director though who brought together the brilliant cast made up of Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, Glenn Close and newcomer Sennia Nanua who, as child actors go, is pretty darn good and thankfully so, since her performance carries the film. The characters in this film felt like they had been ripped from the pages of the book, they looked and sounded just like I had imagined them to.

The zombies themselves are slightly different, they run, which isn’t original but it’s never been something I’ve always liked, in this film though it really worked, it made the zombies very scary and the situations that the characters were in almost nail-biting tense as you knew they could never just stab their way out of it. This mixed with some excellent sound design and some of the best and most terrifying zombie transformations I’ve seen made for a very tense and scary film at times. Setting a zombie film in England is something we’ve seen before but it’s been a while. It was great seeing dystopian style city high streets equipped with all shops we’re used to and helped put me in the shoes of the characters.

The many twists and turns this film takes and the introduction of new elements to the zombie genre really solidifies this as one of the best films out there. Like many great films, it takes a look at our own society and reflects and criticises how in this day and age we would probably handle the unknown. This film felt so refreshing and so original and even though I had already read the source material, I still was taken back by just how invested and tense I was becoming during certain scenes. The music in the film was unlike anything I had ever heard before in the genre and was able to hit me emotionally as well as unnerving me at the same time.

Now it’s not for everyone, for one if you don’t like zombies or gore this probably won’t be for you. It’s not perfect, there’s the odd strange decision made by characters and the ending comes so quickly after a slow build up that I’m sure it won’t sit well with everyone. I really enjoyed this one though and was so happy to see just how true the filmmakers had been to the book and also how much they had invested into making this something different and allowing it to stand out in an ocean worth of zombie films. I'm giving The Girl with All the Gifts a rating of 4.5/5.

Have you seen the film? If not then stop what you're doing and go to the cinema! And if so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Quick Reviews #15

Quite a few short reviews in this post here but I've seen quite a lot of new films recently so I thought you guys would like to read my thoughts. Enjoy!

Kubo and the Two Strings
A really beautiful stop motion fable that oozes creativeness and originality. Very refreshing to see in a year full of sequels, adaptations and reboots. I do worry that a younger audience may not fall in love with the strange mythology, or at times quite slow pace, but for now I’m just happy that it’s here. It also makes me feel very bad for not seeing any of the company’s previous work, time to change that…


Not as bad or as confusing as everyone has been banging on about. I quite enjoyed this one, it’s far from perfect but I had a good time in this world. I’ve never played the game, everything I know has been from the trailers and although I’m still not 100% clued up on everything that happened, I think I got the general gist of things pretty easily. I mean it’s messy in parts, drags near the end and could’ve been streamlined to maybe two or three main characters but overall I had fun and for the most part the effects were pretty darn impressive. If they make more, then I look forward to seeing where the story goes next.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

I really enjoyed the first film, it was stupid yet a lot of fun, this one however, not so much. I didn’t really get that hooked with the story, barely any of the jokes landed and the action sequences just blurred into one by the end. The turtles themselves still look great and I like the fact that they went deeper into the source material, making thus truly feel like a Saturday morning cartoon brought to life, only not as well done as the previous film.

The Neon Demon

Okay, I think it’s time to say that Nicolas Winding Refn has gotten too big for his boots. Every times he makes a new film I hope that we get another Drive or Bronson, two of his films that I adore, but we’re not getting that, we’re getting just weirder and less coherent films that are only designed to shock the audience and it’s just getting tacky. It’s not that I didn’t get this film either, I got it, it pretty much hits you over the head with its ‘themes’ and ‘metaphors’. I feel like this film has a very narrow minded and stereotypical view of the modelling industry, like Refn wrote it without doing any research but went in with the same pre-conceptions that most of the public have about the industry, it says absolutely nothing new. Cinematography wise, yeah it still looks great, you can’t fault that, but I guess I was just hoping for more. The worst thing is that I will keep getting sucked into watching his films in the hope that any one of them may be his next Drive. People may laugh at me for rating this lower than some of the other films on this list but there’s nothing worse than a bad film which you had high expectations for…

Finding Dory

Not a scrap on the original but still fun. It really doubled down on the disability metaphor which meant for some interesting new characters. This was a nice sequel but there is no need for a threequel.

The Shallows

Simple yet sweet, a brilliant self-contained shark thriller that looks great and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. I really wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did. Also the Shark CG looks great!


I laughed a lot at this. I feel like it’s been a while since I saw a really good comedy and this just felt refreshing. Key and Peele are hilarious, it’s not a joke a minute but it’s so stupidly funny when they do land, I had a blast.

Sing Street

I love films that have music intertwined so romantically with them, this is one of those films. It’s charming, it’s funny, it’s the right amount of happy and sad and most of all, it’s inspiring. There are some aspects that I feel could have been more fleshed out but I don’t care that much because overall it was brilliant. One of the best films of the year so far.

Well I hope you enjoyed that slightly longer version of 'Quick Reviews'. Work has been pretty busy recently so I haven't had much time for film viewing, however I did just go to see The Girl with All the Gifts, so I hope to be able to review that one for you guys soon because it was great!

You can read even more reviews from me and check out some of my watching habits over on Letterboxd.

Thanks for reading!