Movie Review

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Bloody lovely.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Movie Poster

US Release Date: 02-05-2016

Directed by: Burr Steers


  • Lily James
  • Elizabeth Bennet
  • Sam Riley
  • Mr. Darcy
  • Bella Heathcote
  • Jane Bennet
  • Ellie Bamber
  • Lydia Bennet
  • Millie Brady
  • Mary Bennet
  • Suki Waterhouse
  • Kitty Bennet
  • Douglas Booth
  • Mr. Bingley
  • Sally Phillips
  • Mrs. Bennet
  • Charles Dance
  • Mr. Bennet
  • Jack Huston
  • George Wickham
  • Lena Headey
  • Lady Catherine de Bourgh
  • Matt Smith
  • Parson Collins
  • Emma Greenwell
  • Caroline Bingley
  • Eva Bell
  • Louisa
  • Aisling Loftus
  • Charlotte
  • Charlie Anson
  • Mr. Hurst
  • Tom Lorcan
  • Lt. Denny
  • Bessie Cursons
  • Lady Anne de Bourgh
  • Dolly Wells
  • Mrs. Featherstone
Average Stars:
Reviewed on: February 14th, 2016
Bella Heathcote and Lily James in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Bella Heathcote and Lily James in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

A movie with a title like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies should have been a hell of a lot more fun than this one. Instead, it treats its subject matter with utmost seriousness. The only joke is in the title and the occasionally clever play on the text from the original novel, such as "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." This lack of fun is almost the exact same problem 2012's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter suffered from.

The plot follows that of the original novel to a surprising degree. Elizabeth Bennet, one of literature's greatest heroines, is one of 5 sisters in early 19th century England. The family receives some welcome news when a young, and wealthy, Mr. Bingley moves into the neighborhood. Mrs. Bennet hopes that the new arrival will want to marry one of her daughters. Accompanying Bingley is his friend, Mr. Darcy. While Bingley falls almost immediately in love with Elizabeth's sister Jane, Elizabeth and Darcy take an immediate, but chemistry filled, dislike to one another. Romantic entanglements ensue.

Where the plots diverge is in the fact that a zombie outbreak has overrun the country. The Bennet sisters are trained warriors, as skilled with swords as they are with needlework. The rich of the land lived in barricaded estates and the city of London is surrounded by a moat and a 100 foot high wall to keep the zombies from entering. I feel it's important at this stage to reiterate that this isn't played for laughs. In manners, morals, language, and dress, the characters remain true to the time period, except that the Bennet sisters are ninja trained warriors. As a joke that works, but as a serious action film, it makes little sense. Given the time period either proper young ladies wouldn't be trained as warriors, or the fundamental order of society would be altered much more than it is here.

Visually, the movie looks great. The poor choice of outfits for supposedly warrior women, do allow for a few fight scenes of beautiful young women in flowing dresses, knives strapped to stockings, and most importantly, plenty of heaving bosoms. The production design and outfits look fit for a serious production of a Jane Austen film.

The cast is likewise good. Natalie Portman was originally cast as Elizabeth, but she--perhaps wisely---dropped out, but did remain on as a producer. Lily James is a good replacement. She looks the part and manages the period drama and the action with equal aplomb. The same can be said of Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy. The two of them could easily star in a true adaptation of the original novel. Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith is a scene stealer as the social climbing, sycophantic Parson Collins and provides some much needed comic relief. His obsequious attitude toward the Lady Catherine de Bourgh carries over from the novel, but here she is the preeminent female warrior in the land, played by Lena Headey. Her character is one of the most over-the-top and seems to be one of the few written to be in on the inherent silliness of the presence. It's a pity she wasn't in it more.

This isn't a completely horrible movie. It just needed to lighten up. Both fans of zombie movies and Jane Austen will find some things to enjoy here, although so far it seems to be struggling to find an audience. The novel it is based upon was a New York Times best-seller and spawned a mini genre mash-up craze, while this film barely cracked the top 10 during its opening weekend and is unlikely to influence anyone.

Reviewed on: August 10th, 2016
Sam Riley, Matt Smith and Lily James in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Sam Riley, Matt Smith and Lily James in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Jane Austen is required reading in England and as such, I am guessing that this film went over much better there than in the United States where she is lesser known and then mostly through film adaptations. Almost anyone who has gone through school in The United Kingdom could tell you who Elizabeth Bennet is. I always think of her as the British Scarlett O'Hara. And if you do not know who she is either, then you should probably not watch this movie or read our reviews.

Whereas Scott thought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies should have been a hell of a lot more fun, I found it all to be a hoot. He complained that it treats its subject matter with utmost seriousness but that was the entire point. If he thought the only joke was in the title, then he missed out on so much. The film starts with a hilarious slam on the French and then there is the gay priest who examines Darcy using the excuse of looking for Zombie bites so as to see his penis. I loved how everyone constantly and blatantly states that all of Jane's sisters are less attractive than her, right in front of them. This includes their own mother.

Matt Smith more than steals his scenes as the ass kissing, rude, wimpy Parson. He is an utter comic delight. When at the Bennett breakfast table, he is is told in front of the entire family that he cannot propose to Jane but may ask Elizabeth instead. He looks rejected and says for all to hear, "She is almost as fair as the other one." Later, after killing a zombie, Elizabeth struggles to pick up some guns. The Parson proceeds to help her but then puts them all in her arms to carry and states, "Allow me. Gallantry isn't dead."

I even laughed at one line that sounded like it belonged in a 19th century porn film; Elizabeth, "Mr Wickham, you came." Wickham, "I said I would." Okay, so that was not intended as a joke but this movie is so out there that it still made me laugh.

What is truly great about the dialogue is that it perfectly blends the tone of a Jane Austen story with a Zombie apocalypse film.Elizabeth proudly announces to her sister, "I shall never relinquish my sword for a ring," who responds, "For the right man, you would." but the defiant Elizabeth, holds her ground with, "The right man wouldn't ask me to." Lady de Bourgh tells Elizabeth, "I do not know which I admire more. Your skill as a warrior or your resolve as a woman." Elizabeth to Darcy, "Mr. Darcy, you're as unfeeling as the undead."

What's more, much of the talking is quite romantic as if directly from its source material. Turning down Darcy's proposal, Elizabeth says, "If I could feel gratitude I would, now thank you. But I cannot. I never desired your good opinion. And you've certainly bestowed it most unwillingly." Or when Darcy is confessing his love, "If it wasn't for you I'd of surely perished. You have saved me in more ways than one." Yeah, I was even caught up in the love story, even though I knew who ended up with who.

Now, about the idea of Gone with the Zombies. Instead of the Union army marching though Georgia, it could be a zombie horde and instead of a famous blockade runner, Rhett Butler could be a noted zombie killer... 

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