Zombie lovers, the time to rejoice is now. We've been suffering from a serious lack of the undead in our lives now that The Walking Dead has finished. What's a fan to do? If you're in need of a new zombie obsession to soothe the pain, you won't want to miss The Girl With All The Gifts . From the looks of the trailer alone, this film is going to be epic on another level. First off, The Girl features an amazing cast: Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, and Glenn Close all pop up in the trailer looking more worn out from the zombie apocalypse than ever before. Plus, you have all the typical locations of a traditional zombie film: the half-destroyed metropolis, the secret army bunker, a tin-can SUV driving everyone to safety, and even an expanse of forest that is home, no doubt, to tons of zombies. Factoring this in, you may be wondering what actually sets this film apart from the rest. Thus, I direct you to The Girl's protagonist.
At the heart of the conflict is Melanie, played by newcomer Sennia Nanua. Melanie is not your typical zombie. She is one of a large group of children infected by the virus that turned a majority of the world's population into ravenous flesh-eaters but this special group of children can still think, speak, and feel in a normal human way. It's revealed in the trailer that the children can have the virus triggered easily, hence those creepy wheelchair restraints. Doctor Caroline Caldwell (Close) tells Melanie she is working on a new vaccine and she, Melanie, may be the key to making it work and saving what is left of humanity.
The Girl, then, becomes intriguing for a number of reasons. Primarily, the protagonist is a young girl of color. Nanua looks positively poised for stardom as Melanie, bring a serious amount of melancholy and curiosity to the predicaments her character faces. The fact that Melanie could also be categorized as "still human" shapes her zombie life as a coming-of-age tale, too. Melanie's story looks like it will encompass all the ideas of a young girl fully understanding her identity, old and new, while being forced into the middle of the zombie conflict as the ostensible savior.
Moreover, it looks like Melanie's caretaker and teacher, Helen Justineau (Arterton) will be going through an internal conflict as she juggles the need to protect Melanie with watching her become a tool the search for the cure. Heavy stuff, but thoroughly intriguing. I find these ideas totally exciting if only because it means The Girl could revitalize the zombie genre with a mix of sensitivity and new perspective.
Not convinced yet? Then have a look at the trailer above and decide for yourself — but I totally guarantee you're going to be on board 100% after watching.
Images: Warner Bros. UK/Youtube (2)