Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie review: marriage, love, and zombies

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a novel that’s studied the world over and has been adapted countless times. It’s made Colin Firth famous. To some, it’s the perfect piece of literary text encapsulating England in the 1800s, but what has it been lacking all of these years? Zombies.

Based off the 2009 novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the movie takes Jane Austin’s classic and basically inserts zombies into it. It’s a strange and, at first glance, oddball mashup, but it works surprisingly well.

The movie (and novel) contains exactly the same story as its source content, which includes Elizabeth and Darcy’s reluctant and eventual courtship, Mr. Collins being the buffoon of the book, and overall dick, George Wickham. What Zombies does, is throw in a world on the brink of collapse, a fortified England, and an incredible amount of the undead. It’s everything you wish the book was in high school.

In some ways, its comment on society in stronger than that of Pride and Prejudice. While the world in the 1800s is going to hell in a handbasket, the middle and upper-class populace keep their calm and composure, sticking to societal rituals and grand parties.

The actors and their ability to keep their composure is what brings the movie to life. Lily James is arguably a better Elizabeth than that of Jennifer Ehle, who played the same character in the 1995 BBC TV adaptation. I am still arguing with myself over this version’s Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) and the Colin Firth, who’s taken on the role a few times. Matt Smith of Dr. Who fame really captures the movie with its portrayal of Mr. Collins, providing much of the movie’s humor.

The movie’s visuals are also excellently done, from the walled-off London to the hordes of ravaging zombies. Each undead menace (literally) oozes with savageness and hate as they chase after their next potential meal. Their deaths are equally as satisfying with stabbings, head stomps, and buckets of blood spraying from a number of directions. Props must be given to the headshots, which may surprise some.

The movie isn’t going to win any awards (although stranger things have happened), but it is great fun.

Movie information:

Release Date: 1 April 2016 (South Africa)
Cast: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Matt Smith
Studio: Cross Creek Pictures
Director: Burr Steers
Genre: Action, Horror, Romance
Age restriction: 13 VH
Running time: 1 hour 47 minutes

Verdict: A comical and gory adaptation of Jane Austin’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is sure to delight most. Purists may turn up their noses at the sheer idea of the movie, but it’s sure to delight everyone else.

Score: 8.5/10



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