Here’s a quiz to take before watching Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:
- Do I like Pride and Prejudice? – Ok, I’m assuming if you’re here, you are a Jane Austen fan. So this is probably an easy yes.
- Do I like Zombies? – this one is trickier. I myself am not a big zombie fan. They’re gross and creepy and usually unnecessarily horrifying.
- Am I an uptight person who will take this movie very literally and get upset because there are zombies mixed in with Elizabeth and Darcy’s immortalized romance? – if this is you, turn around now, because you will hate this movie.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which will be referred to as PPZ from here on out) is very much in the same vein as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Hansel and Gretl: Witch Hunters. It takes a well-known classic story and puts it smack dab in the middle of a heightened paranormal setting. In this case, Netherfield Hall is surrounded by brain-eating zombies. The Bennett sisters are not only trained in dancing and needlepoint, but they can also wield swords and pistols with ease. The plot still follows the romances of Jane and Bingley and Elizabeth and Darcy, only they have the added obstacle of the zombie apocalypse to deal with.
Ok. I’ll be the first to say that this movie is ridiculous. No one is arguing that it’s not. It’s absurd and silly and at times completely horrible. But it’s also completely entertaining and ridiculously fun.
The cast is filled with ridiculously good looking people (although lets be honest, so is the 2005 version with Kiera Knightley and Matthew McFadyen). Except for the zombies of course. They look terrible. Lily James, whom I have adored ever since her angelic portrayal of Cinderella last year, plays a strong and sarcastic Elizabeth that you immediately adore. I don’t know who the actor who plays Darcy was, but he’s got the strangest voice. It was fairly distracting, unfortunately, but I let it slide since I was also letting the whole zombie apocalypse thing slide as well. Douglas Booth plays Bingley, and it was funny to me that he was chosen for Bingley, because I could have easily seen him as Darcy. I guess he’s almost too attractive to play the bumbling Bingley that he was attempting to portray. He just always seemed a bit incongruous to me. We’ve also got Lena Heady playing a somehow even more ostentatious Lady Catherine de Burgh (complete with eyepatch), who happens to be a somewhat legendary zombie killer. And it’s hilarious.
The true win of this movie is Matt Smith as Mr. Collins. I laughed heartily at his scenes, which were heightened from the original versions that I’ve seen, to make Mr. Collins even more ridiculous and rude. It was hysterical. I mean, Mr. Collins is always a hilarious character, but Matt Smith really digs in and kills it. Check out this scene wherein he announces his intentions toward Jane:
So of course there’s a lot of violence, because there’s lots of fighting and killing zombies. But honestly, it was less gory than I was expecting – probably because after seeing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Hansel and Gretel, I couldn’t imagine it not being gory. But honestly, it wasn’t too bad. Sure it was gross cause zombies are just gross, but it wasn’t nearly as bloody as I was expecting – we aren’t reaching into Walking Dead territory or anything.
Anyway, if you’re looking for an evening of ridiculous, fantastical action, with some Austen romance thrown in, you should check out PPZ. It’s fun, romantic, quite funny, and of course, there’s beautiful costumes, which is always a plus. And you get to watch Elizabeth Bennett take out a bunch of zombies. How could that be bad?
Content: Rated PG-13 for zombie violence and action, and brief suggestive material.
3.5 out of 5 stars