Putting a fresh spin on one well-worn genre is difficult enough as it is, so The Girl with All the Gifts should be commended for managing to tell a unique story utilizing elements of no less than four.
It sounds unwieldy to call director Colm McCarthy’s movie a post-apocalyptic dystopian sci-fi zombie horror, but that’s exactly what it is, and it’s a minor miracle that the storytelling remains so incisive and focused throughout, especially when it only runs for 111 minutes including credits.
In the not-too-distant future, a fungal disease has decimated the human race, with survivors losing all free will and cognitive abilities, being reduced to flesh-eating creatures known as “hungries”. To try and find a cure, children who crave flesh but retain the ability to think on their own are experimented on at a medical facility.
When the so-called “safe haven” is attacked, a teacher grabs a student she’s grown close with and flees with a soldier in tow, embarking on a journey that has the potential to save the world as they know it. The Girl with All the Gifts may have flown under the radar during its theatrical release despite racking up an impressive 85 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s now making an unexpected splash as one of the most-watched titles on Netflix.
As per FlixPatrol, the literary adaptation has exploded out of nowhere to become the sixth top-viewed feature on the platform’s global charts, having bitten into the Top 10 in 22 countries. It’s one of the best but most unheralded zombie flicks of the last few years, but at least it’s finally finding a brand new audience more than half a decade after barely cobbling together $4 million at the box office.