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The Zombie Movie Hidden Gem You Can Watch On HBO Max Right Now

Ever since they first appeared in movies, zombies have continued to change and adapt their role in media over the years. From the mindless, slow walkers of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, to the quick-turning, quick-moving creatures of Yeon Sang-ho's Train to Busan, zombies have proven their ability to traverse all genres and audiences. But after seasons upon seasons — and multiple spinoffs — of TV shows like The Walking Dead and all its cinematic imitators, many people believe that there's not much else they can wring out of the zombie genre. Those people should really check out the best zombie movies you can watch on Netflix right now. The experience will have them thinking again.

In particular, the United Kingdom has produced a lot of unique TV shows and movies centered around zombies in recent years. Just look at the hit comedy Shaun of the Dead, the BAFTA-winning drama series In the Flesh, and the indie horror film 28 Days Later, all of which transcend the zombie tropes to tell poignant and very human stories. In 2016, the U.K. produced another fantastic and innovative movie set in a zombie-infested world that has mostly gone under the radar. Thanks to HBO Max's ever-expanding library of movies, this emotional hidden gem is available to watch now.

The Girl With All The Gifts finds yet another fresh twist on the zombie formula

Starring Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine, and Sennia Nanua as Melanie, The Girl With All The Gifts is based on a novel of the same name written by science-fiction author Mike Carey, which was in turn adapted form his own short story entitled "Iphigenia in Aulis." He wrote the screenplay concurrently with a novel version, but the book was released first in 2014. As with many zombie movies, the story takes place in a world ravaged by a viral disease that turns people into flesh-eating mindless creatures. In this case, the condition is caused by a parasitic fungus transmitted through bodily fluids, with the zombies colloquially known as "hungries." Along with hungries, there are also hybrid human-zombies, children who were infected in the womb. This second generation has an appetite for flesh, but is still able to think, learn, and grow.

Nanua's Melanie is one of these children. She lives with others like her at an army base where she and her cohort are guarded by soldiers like Sergeant Eddie Parks (Considine), experimented on by Dr. Caroline Caldwell (Close), and taught values and important life skills by Helen Justineau (Arterton). Melanie spends the film learning empathy and grappling with her role — and that of her species — in the world that remains after the disease. The Girl With All The Gifts received great reviews, and currently holds an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Brian Tallerico from Roger Ebert explained the contemplative and inventive nature of the movie, saying, "just as Melanie marks something altogether new in this world—a zombie with a conscience — the film about her feels inspired by what came before but also good enough to inspire those that come after." 

Check it out on HBO Max now.