‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ Review

Directed by Burr Steers

Written by Burr Steers

Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Charles Dance, and Lena Headey

★★★☆☆

Are you like me and wish that “The Walking Dead” was a little more like a Jane Austen novel? Or maybe you thought that the only thing wrong with Jane Austen’s novels was the lack Zombies. Well, then “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is the movie for you.

The “Pride and Prejudice” part of this movie was a decent adaptation of Austen’s novel, and that was the best part of the film. Lily James and Sam Riley were well-cast as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, and they had great chemistry together. Their performances, along with that of Matt Smith, were fantastic, engaging, and turned what could have been nothing more than a campy parody of “Pride and Prejudice” into a parody that was well-crafted enough to be a serious adaptation.

The zombie part of the movie is where the movie starts to fall apart. While the film effortlessly adds the zombies into the beats of “Pride and Prejudice,” it is still a PG-13 rated zombie movie. Carrying the PG-13 rating means that “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” lacks one of the fundamental aspects of a good zombie movie, gore. It is true that there is such a thing as too much blood — see any “torture porn” horror movie — and it becomes gratuitous. Based on the number, length, and the fact that none of the action scenes are overly graphic, this film is not in danger of having a gratuitous amount of gore. Frankly, all good zombie movies need blood.

On the technical side of the film, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” was adequately directed, Burr Steers was not overly ambitious, nor did Steers make any decisions that made the movie campy. He also got great performances out of the lead actors, and ultimately that is the most import job of the director.

On a personal level, I was bugged by the costume design in the movie. The costumes looked more like something out of the early 20th century, rather than something out of the Victorian era.

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is both an admirable parody of, and a first-rate homage to “Pride and Prejudice.” It blends zombies and Austen effortlessly and is an overall enjoyable watch.

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