A strange fungal disease is turning humans into zombie like creatures and Dr Caldwell's experiments on an army base could be the last chance at a cure. A group of children who are able to learn and interact despite their hunger are the key but their teacher Miss Justineau, who has been testing their intelligence, decides that she can't allow her favourite, Melanie, to be disected. With the base being overrun, they and Sgt Parks have to work together to survive and see if a cure is still possible while Melanie starts to discover who she really is.
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine and Sennia Nanua.
I very much enjoyed the book and I bought the dvd when I heard it had been released but I found myself a little underwhelmed by it to be honest. It does stick pretty faithfully to the book for the most part, which no doubt is due to Mike Carey writing the screenplay based on his book. It's not a bad film but I just expected more from it.
What I liked best was Glenn Close as Dr Caldwell. I thought this was a good piece of casting and you can understand her motivations in wanting to save the world at the expense of a few half zombie kids. In the same way, you feel sorry for the kids who don't really know what they are or that they will soon die. Sennia Nanua does a good job in portraying the know-all Melanie and her devotion to her teacher but I just didn't like Melanie as a character the way I did in the book and I'm not sure why. I certainly don't blame it on the casting as she took the part well, but I found myself more on Dr Caldwell's side in the film which is kind of disturbing.
The problems? First I wasn't convinced by the hungries. This was obviously shot on a very cheap budget so the people never really looked like zombies, just face pulling crazy people running around the place. I never really felt the menace from them, the way you do in classic zombie films. When the group were moving through the still zombies, again it just lacked something. Even the one real action scene at the army base was confused and not as dramatic as I felt it could be. The scenes with Melanie subduing her fellow children just didn't work for me in any way. It just wasn't convincing me. Overall I found it a bit too slow and lacking what I was hoping for in terms of tension and drama.
Gah, I hate looking forward to something and then not liking it as much as I wanted to. It is a decent enough film and was fine to watch but not one I would watch again.