We finally got round to seeing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies this week. Poor timing saw the film fail at the box office as was released at the same time as Zoolander 2 and Deadpool which meant fewer screenings, as those 2 enjoyed multiple screens.
The film is based on the Jane Austen book, but with the additional material of Zombies added to the story by Seth Grahame-Smith.
The film had been pitched pretty much since the release of the book in 2009! I recall at one point Natalie Portman was attached to star, yet it was Seth’s other reworking of history that made the screen first in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
The film takes the Austen story you may well know, Mr. Bennet (Charles Dance) & Mrs. Bennet (Sally Phillips) want different things for their daughters. Mr. B has sent them all to China to learn martial arts and Mrs. B wants them to be married off to wealthy Suitors.
They have 5 daughters but we in general, follow Elizabeth (Lily James) and Jane (Bella Heathcote)
When the wealthy Bingley’s move next door and have a ball, Jane falls for the handsome Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth) yet Elizabeth has no intention to get married, however, it does appear a spark forms between her and the serious Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley)
When the ball is attacked by Zombies, Elizabeth sees Darcy as a killer of Zombies. The story goes on, as you may know from the Austen classic, social standing appears to put a stop to Bingley and Jane.
Darcy makes his intentions known to Elizabeth, but for words that he has put out to stop Jane’s happiness, following him overhearing Mrs. Bennet and misinterpreting Jane’s true intentions, Elizabeth wants nothing to do with him. She appears to have more of an interest for the mysterious soldier called Wickham (Jack Huston)
Wickham seems intent on helping, rather than killing Zombies and takes Elizabeth to a church filled with Zombies in an area called the in-between, we found this a great addition as this twist differed from the book.
Eventually, Elizabeth finds the true story of Wickham through Lady Catherine (Lena Headey) and with this information, knowing she has misjudged Darcy, even turning down his marriage proposal she joins him in the film’s end sequence of a battle with the undead in London.
When we first read the book, we loved it and found it completely original, yet somehow the film comes off as just a Zombie film with a period drama setting.
For its low budget, the sets and costumes look fantastic, the special effects and Zombie make-up are also fantastic. The cast all do good jobs, in particular, Sally as Mrs. Bennet and Matt Smith as Parson Collins, who inject some humour into a film, which at times takes itself far too seriously.
However, this is our issue with the film, does it want to be a parody or a period drama? Yet for all this, it is an entertaining film but you will have seen better Zombie films, serious and comedic I’m sure!
If like us, you enjoyed the concept of the book, we think the film is well worth a look, or even if you want to see a period costume piece done a bit differently as the mid-credit scene suggesting a sequel does not seem likely.
Did you like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? What are your favourite Zombie films? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
You can find the film at Amazon here: