Happy Mother’s Day. Here’s a zombie movie.

I used to read British writer Mike Carey’s comics all the time. He had a fantastic couple of series. His Lucifer was brilliant as was his short lived Crossing Midnight and The Unwritten. After years in the industry he moved on from comics and became novelist and has been writing novels for the last couple years. One of his more recent novels has been made into a British movie that never saw a North American release.

The Girl with All the Gifts starts with young Melanie (Sennia Nanua) waking up and getting ready for her day. She’s in a locked in a prison like room and has to get into a wheelchair with restraints before soldiers take her and other children into a room where their teacher Helen Justineau (Gemma Arterton) begins today’s lessons. Melanie is highly intelligent. Also extremely polite. She has grown to see Helen as a mother figure and Helen is fond of Melanie.

The harsh reality is that there has been an infection outbreak and the world has been overrun with zombies. This military base is one of the last strongholds and research places desperately trying to find a cure. The zombies were created by variation of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus which creates “hungries”, zombies which then try to eat humans.. The children are infected but have retained their humanity. Dr. Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close) has been trying to find a cure and thinks she’s close. She just needs Melanie’s brain and spinal cord. Helen objects and then the zombies attack the base. In the chaos Melanie saves Helen and the two get into a truck along with Dr. Caldwell and Sgt. Eddie Parks (Paddy Considine) and a couple of other soldiers. They try to make their way to the next base.

This is a really good movie. It’s still falls in the zombie category but it’s less horror and more thriller combined with stronger than normal character development than you would find in an average zombie movie. You care for Melanie as she discovers what she is and what she believes in. Mike Carey also wrote the screenplay for the movie and Colm McCarthy directs with style and creates enough tension to keep you on the edge of your seat at times.