The Girl With All The Gifts (2017)

Yes… I’m going to be one of those assholes that screams the book was better… (just)

A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.

Previously a novel of the same name from 2014, The Girl with All the Gifts, is an oddly adapted screenplay penned by the author M.R Carey. I say oddly, because the film is completely different to the novel, so much so that major characters have entirely different deaths and defining character moments are completely missing. For me that is just a no no.

Director Colm McCarthy’s vision of the film, is an unfortunate lazy adaptation of the book. The monstrous makeup was exactly that, the crusty rot was overly exaggerated and moments so painfully awkward that there could possibly be no saving grace for the film.

The backdrop of The Girl with All the Gifts is a wonder to admire and both Paddy Considine and Gemma Arterton are powerful in their roles, but the characters are paper thin and the lack of chemistry was noticeably missing. It’s an unfortunate slip for what was a semi-powerful novel to be adapted into another ineffective cringe worthy zombie film.

4.5 / 10

“If I had a box of bad things I’d put you in it and close the lid”

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)

But is it reaaaaaally the final chapter?

Picking up immediately after the events of Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare begun – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.

Paul W.S Anderson is back for the “final” entry of the absolutely chaotic post apocalyptic zombie series with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. For 106 minutes it is messy, it is violent and it is pure idiotic mayhem. For what it is, it’s a total hoot.

To really enjoy this movie, one has to leave all inhibitions and embrace the ridiculousness. Anderson is very self aware of what this movie is, and he has done a great job of meshing horror, action and a touch of jest altogether.

The pacing is relentless, with hardly any down time between the splatter of intense sequences one after the other. The choreography of the hand to hand combat scenes are undoubtedly stylish and easily the best thing about the film. That said though, the editing style follows suit and is frantically cut together resulting in choppy scenes and missed opportunities to relish in Jovovich’s mesmerizing screen presence of being a total badass.

Admittedly, I don’t think I’ve seen entries 2 – 5 of the series, but the original I’ve seen countless times, so going back to Raccoon City instantly filled me with giddiness, as I just knew it was a given that the deadly laser grid was going to be back for more turmoil!

This film is far from perfect, it barely passes as an acceptable flick. The colour grading is far too dark, at times I had trouble making out who was who, the cuts are too fast and a totally unexplained time limit of exactly 48 hours is thrown into the mix, but I don’t care…  Milla Jovovich is still smoking hot and Ruby Rose is my everything right now. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is exhilarating for every second, and I couldn’t wipe a stupid grin off my face for the entire film.

6.0 / 10

“We’ve played a long game, you and I, but now it’s over”

Train To Busan (2016)

Think of Snowpiercer… but with zombies.

When a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, a couple of passengers struggle to survive on train from Seoul to Busan.

Sang-ho Yeon hits you right in the feels with this thrillingly unique zombie flick. Normally, I am not a supporter of zombie films, what I usually deem as an exhausted sub genre, I will gladly eat my words here as Train To Busan is totally reinvigorating and surprisingly super emotional. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Korean horror is fast becoming a favourite of mine, there is a fresh vibrancy seen amongst their genre films that isn’t seen or felt elsewhere.

Prepare for Train To Busan to reach into your ribcage and rip your heart out. With a story amassed with colourful characters it’s only too soon we grow to learn and love each one – the high school baseball team, the homeless gentleman, a young pregnant couple, two old gossiping ladies and even an uptight businessman. The characters are well developed and storytelling twists your idea of you will go and who will stay and how. By the end of the film I was a blubbering mess, even if it tended to be a tad melodramatic.

The action of the film is admirably stylish. With skilful choreographed action these zombies are ruthless and quick and swam together at a ferocious pace. Reminiscent of World War Z’s rushing zombie hordes, yet here they almost resemble J Horror creatures in their insect like movement, contorting in an unnatural way during their ravenous pursuit as they force their way through walls and doors with sheer weight in numbers.

Train To Busan’s fast pace, keeps the story increasingly heightened and the tension seemingly grows from hopeless to impossible. A particular stand out sequence involves a motley trio who must make their way through the hordes of three different carriages using only minimal weapons and the cover of dark provided by tunnels – which is where we are given a unique twist for the zombies.

Train To Busan is lean and gritty and pulls on the heartstrings. It’s a breath of fresh air for a genre that is at time suffocating.

8.5 / 10

“Everyone is dead”