OK I’m a sucker for a Zombie movie. (One of my all time favourite genres.)
But this trumps mere Zombie movies. This is a ‘kid’ Zombie movie and that raises the bar in its horrificness.
The main protagonist is a 10 year old Zombie being held captive in a military/medical establishment in the home counties with another 20 of her sort.
They are research fodder.
The charming, intelligent Melanie (played entirely convincingly and extremely empathetically throughout by debutant Sennia Nanua) it transpires has eaten herself out of her mother’s womb at the time that the world had fallen victim to a hideous fungal invasion that turned humans into Zombies.
Few have survived.
One is Melanie and her cronies’ teacher Helen Justineau (also well played by Gemma Arterton). She and Melanie have a special bond that forms the backbone of the movie.
In the early establishing scenes the tension is palpable aided by an excellent soundtrack by Cristobal Tapia de Veer, and when Paddy Considine (the good, bad guy army officer) lets a classroom of the wheelchair bound critters have a ‘sniff’ of his humanity the reaction is unpleasant to say the least.
It becomes a road trip, as Zombie movies often do, with a series of set pieces gradually whittling down the cast (which includes the excellent Glenn Close) and gradually building the relationship between Arterton and Nanua; which is actually pretty believable.
Although the movie slightly outstays its welcome (one or two set ups too many I’d say) it’s good throughout. Genuinely creepy, an original ‘take’ on the genre although borrowing heavily from 28 Days Later and, especially, I am Legend, which clearly inspired the excellent set-build and CGI effects of an abandoned London.
The ending lacks conviction but overall it’s a highly meritable addition to the Zombie canon.
One of the best in my opinion.