Weekly Review: Pride + Prejudice + Zombies (2016)

Imagine that the Black Plague brought the dead back to life. Now, imagine the story of Pride and Prejudice set against an apocalyptic zombie landscape. That’s Pride + Prejudice + Zombies.

I’m a huge fan of zombies. I read this book many, many years ago when it first came out. I even own the book. For me, it made the Pride and Prejudice storyline easier to keep up with. It seemed like the momentum stayed pretty high when the threat of zombies lurked around every corner.

When I heard that the book, originally by Jane Austen and adapted by Seth Grahame-Smith, was being adapted into a movie, I was pretty excited. I imagined it was going to be pretty amazing, if not as an overall film, then as a zombie movie. However, Pride + Prejudice + Zombies may have come off better if it were released a few years back, rather than today.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 5.15.23 PM

The first thing I’d probably point out about Pride + Prejudice + Zombies is the casting. The main character, Elizabeth Bennet, is played by Lily James, seen recently in the live action version of Cinderella. Mr. Darcy is played by Sam Riley, who I recognized from Maleficent. Other notable characters include Jane Bennet (Bella Heathcote), Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth), Mr. Wickham (Jack Huston), and Mr. Bennet (Charles Dance). The film also has Matt Smith playing Mr. Collins and Lena Headey as Lady Catherine de Bourgh. I thought the cast was pretty decent. No complaints.

I can’t remember if the book was as comedic as the movie turned out to be, but Pride + Prejudice + Zombies definitely plays out that way. Maybe the filmmakers noticed that when actually visualized, Pride and Prejudice with added zombies looked kind of funky. Maybe they decided to play up on that fact. I’m not entirely sure, but there are several moments in the movie that are pretty comedic, whether intentional or otherwise. Matt Smith did a really good job as a comedic Mr. Collins.

One thing that I did really appreciate in this movie was how terrifying the zombies were. While the zombies in this movie do have the capability to speak, which might throw off a lot of viewers, there are some really great entrances. One that really sticks out to me is a zombie mother and zombie baby. Their appearance took me by surprise, and the presentation of it all was just so creepy, and it’s impossible to forget for me. The make-up was really gnarly. The zombies were pretty great.

In the end, I’m not exactly sure what I was hoping to see, but I was hoping that the movie would be better. In a general sense, I’d say it was just okay. I’ll probably go back and read the book again now that these visuals are fresh in my mind. It’ll be interesting to see how closely it was adapted.

I won’t outright recommend this movie, but if you’re in the mood to see something a little different, this may be a good option for you. It’s got some good fight scenes, comedic moments, and creepy zombies, all put together in an intriguing package.

Check out the trailer to see if Pride + Prejudice + Zombies might interest you!

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