The Girl With All the Gifts Blu-ray Review

the-girl-with-all-the-gifts

In the future, a strange fungus has changed nearly everyone into a thoughtless, flesh-eating monster. When a scientist and a teacher find a girl who seems to be immune to the fungus, they all begin a journey to save humanity.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

85

Details:

Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2016
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Genre: Horror/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.00:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, Sennia Nanua
Directed by: Colm McCarthy
Music by: Cristobal Tapia Deveer
Written by: Mike Carey
Region Code: A

Release Date: April 25, 2017

“Our Greatest Threat is Our Only Hope”



My Take:

The near future humanity has been all but destroyed by a mutated fungal disease that eradicates free will and turns its victims into flesh-eating “hungries”. Only a small group of children seem immune to its effects. At an army base in rural England, this group of unique children are being studied, subjected to cruel experiments by biologist Dr. Caldwell. Despite having been infected with the zombie pathogen that has decimated the world, these children retain normal thoughts and emotions. And while still being subject to the craving for human flesh that marks the disease these second-generation “hungries” are able to think and feel making them a vital resource in the search for a cure.

The children attend school lessons daily, guarded by the ever-watchful Sergeant Parks. But one little girl, Melanie, stands out from the rest. Melanie is special. She excels in the classroom, is inquisitive, imaginative and loves her favorite teacher Miss Justineau. When the base falls, Melanie escapes along with Miss Justineau, Sergeant Parks and Dr. Caldwell. Against the backdrop of a blighted Britain, Melanie must discover what she is and ultimately decide both her own future and that of the human race.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a wonderfully fresh take on the well-worn zombie genre. Focusing on Melanie, played with sparkling effervesce, by newcomer Sennia Nanua, the post-apocalyptic story, set in an undisclosed dystopian future, is as much drama as horror, drawing upon tonal shifts that are smartly interwoven so as to draw upon our emotions and are fears. The characters are gradually stirred in, which works quite well within the narrative’s construct. The elements of horror are effectively scattered, complimenting the genre, while the eyebrow raising and engaging plot carefully unfolds, going from a simmer, to a boil. The ending is quite interesting and makes for a befitting finish, given the plot’s elements. All in all The Girl with All the Gifts is a well-spun tale that genre fans are sure to appreciate.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for disturbing violence/bloody images, and for language.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element):

Video: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

The Girl With All the Gifts comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.3 Mbps.

This film has a distinctive visual aesthetic that utilizes sepia, de-saturated colors and high contrast. There are lots of darkened interior sequences/lighting geared toward setting the mood and tone of the subject material. Flesh tones are slightly impacted appearing pallid and lacking tonal divergence. Blacks are deep but occasionally on the muddy side which can leave them appearing flat. Detail in dark backgrounds and shadow filled areas is appreciable which offers many of the low level interior shots better depth. Images aren’t razor sharp but do offer excellent subtle detail during close up camera shots. The wide-angle camera pans of the woodlands, and desolate city have fair dimensional quality that leaves backgrounds appearing definable. Overall this presentation appears to faithfully represent the original source, which in and of itself, doesn’t make for the most visually compelling viewing experience.

This is primarily a dialog driven film however there are elements in the film that require use of the entire system so its ability to clearly render them is essential. Dialog is reproduced with transparent realism and lucid texture as it is appropriately balanced within the front soundstage. The surround mix utilizes the entire platform to recreate the many acoustic sounds associated with the environments portrayed onscreen. The rear channels contain a mixture of spatial ambience/musical extension as well as directional panning cues that effectively support the front soundstage. This is a complimentary audio presentation that mates well with the source material.

Bonus Features:

  • HD) Unwrap the Secret World of The Girl with All the Gifts – 20 minute featurette
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

The Girl With All the Gifts is a refreshing take on the zombie genre, making for a compelling, and intelligently crafted film that I enjoyed. It comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring faithful high definition video, excellent lossless surround sound, and a light supplemental package. The Girl With All the Gifts doesn’t redefine horror, but it’s a rewarding film that strikes all the right chords. Drop it in your Blu-ray rental queue and take it for a spin!

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components – CP-CP102 cooling package