The best advice I can give to people with an interest in The Girl with All the Gifts is avoid all trailers, avoid everything and go in as cold as possible. I really didn’t know much about this movie other than it getting great reviews from some critics I trust so went in blind and the experience was that much more satisfying.
This movie takes a lot of twists and turns and expertly meshes a handful of tired genre ideas into something very fresh indeed. Considering the various frameworks the filmmakers are playing in here (I’m trying to be as vague as possible) I was impressed with how original the plotting and design work was. You will have seen a lot of the individual ideas in this movie a million times before, and yet you won’t have seen them quite like this. That’s saying something.
There’s a version of this movie that could have had a lot of the edges blunted, maybe by producers with an eye to creating a new YA franchise (it certainly has that potential) but no, The Girl with All the Gifts is tough, violent and, at times, pretty fucking scary. It’s also occasionally weird and icky in that upper-class Del Toro or lower-class Cronenberg way. That’s going to do this movie a lot of favours in the long run, as it will give genre viewers something wholly fresh and true to itself meaning word of mouth will be its ultimate ally.
You know what else is awesome about this movie? It’s a great genre flick, sure, but it’s also BRITISH! This is exactly the kind of thrill-ride I want the British film industry to pump out alongside all the kitchen-sink, social realist, period true-story flicks we do so well. Besides Edgar Wright, I’m startled that really solid British genre flicks are actually quite scarce. The British landscape is so ripe with visual potential for heightened stories and The Girl with All the Gifts utilises it in the way I’ve seen in my head for so long but so rarely on the actual cinema screen. This is a good fucking movie and the fact it was made in my country makes me really proud. I want more of this, so see it, support it and tell all your friends but keep it vague. No bullshit: the less you know, the harder it delivers.