Zombie movies get a shot in the arm from The Girl With All The Gifts
t’s a blustery June day in solihull. dark, overcast, with rain on the horizon. the perfect conditions, then, for the end of the world.
here, behind a disused former Powergen building (now owned by a major supermarket chain) that’s standing in for post-apocalyptic london, Empire watches as the remaining members of the cast of The Girl With All The Gifts — including Paddy Considine, Gemma arterton, Glenn Close and young newcomer sennia nanua — gingerly pick a path through an overgrown patch of land. danger lurks everywhere in the shape of infected humans known as ‘hungries’, but salvation lies at hand in the shape of rosie, a giant mobile laboratory the group of survivors have tracked down. as chance would have it, Close’s scientist, Caldwell, helped design the lab years ago, and manages to find a way in as night looms and the hungries stir…
Zombies, of course, are nothing new these days. you can’t throw a stone without hitting a member of the walking dead. but Colm Mccarthy’s film promises to stand out from the herd. Mike Carey’s screenplay, developed at the same time as his novel of the same name, is as preoccupied with asking big questions about humanity as it is setting up cool kills. its focus lies not with the desperate survivors, but with nanua’s Melanie, a hybrid hungry/human who may hold the key to a brave new world. “as zombie movies go, it’s a little bit different,” says Considine, who plays a soldier trying to lead the group to safety after a shit/fan interface. “it’s essentially about nature taking over again and reinventing the human race because we weren’t quite good enough. i thought that was a cool message.”
then there’s the cast — not the kind of actors you expect to find in a such a piece. “i’ve never done anything like this before,” admits Considine. ditto Close. her most iconic screen roles may have involved boiling bunnies and trying to skin puppies, but she’s outside her comfort zone. “i get too scared of movies like this,” she laughs. “i don’t go to horror films, they’re just too frightening. but this was a brilliant take on the genre, so i had to do it. i’m just glad i know what happens in this!” the rest of us will have to be content with peeking through our fingers.
The Girl With All The Gifts is out on september 9.