Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Official Tagline: Five sisters in 19th century England must deal with the idea of marrying wealthy businessmen, as well as protecting themselves from a growing population of savage zombies. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES is a fresh twist on Jane Austen’s widely celebrated novel. A mysterious plague has fallen upon 19th century England, the land is overrun with the undead and feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is a master of martial arts and weaponry. Casting aside personal and social prejudices, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy must unite on the blood-soaked battlefield to rid the country of the zombie menace and discover their true love for one another.

Written by: Burr Steers
Directed by: Burr Steers

Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, Ellie Bamber, Millie Brady, Matt Smith
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn’t a bad movie, but it isn’t great either. I saw the film a couple of weeks ago when it was still in the theaters and enjoyed the film, but it lacked a few things that could have made it a very good action film. The preview trailers made the film seem like it would show huge battles of humans fighting zombies, but most of the war and the battles were before this particular story begins or off screen after it starts. The previews also indicate that we would see the Bennet sisters training to become zombie fighters; this also took place before this story begins. We do see a couple of scenes of the girls fighting zombies at a party, but not much more. In fact most of the really interesting action and events are covered in the first couple of minutes in a sort of animated story book telling of the back story of how the zombie plague began and progressed. I believe that the movie would have been better served if these event had actually been party of the story on screen.

pride-prejudice-zombies-characters-3-600x450I have said it many times before, that when the writer and director are the same person on a film, the results can be less than great and that is the case for writer/director Burr Steers who concentrates too much on the relationship between Elizabeth [Lily James] and Mr. Darcy or in this story Colonial Darcy [Sam Riley] and not enough on the zombie threat. This may be that Burr wanted to stay true to the original source material of Pride and Prejudice and not the modern novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies the film is named for or budget restrains forced the focus to be more on the love story than the action elements. Whatever the reasoning, the film lacks real drive and momentum, there is not enough love story for this to be a romance and not enough action to be a pure action film and little real frights to be a horror story, so the results are somewhat muddled.

PridePrejudiceZombies_trailer2I’m not saying the film isn’t entertaining, it is a kind of fun ride, but I just think the film could have been so much better if we could have actually seen more of the sisters fighting zombies and the dynamics of the sister group working together to fight this zombie plague. Except for Elizabeth and Jane Bennet [Bella Heathcote], there is very little character development of the other sisters, I couldn’t even tell you their names and they all sort of looked alike. Give them different fighting styles and mannerisms or at least give them a little screen time to let us know who they are. The villain is telegraphed very early on and the Red Herring isn’t much of a diversion. Matt Smith does do a good job as comic relief. I also want to say Lily James is quite attractive in her tight, low cut bodices and handles the action and drama very well.

pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-trailer-posterThis is one of those films that seemed to have the right elements, except for a good story and better directing. The cliff hanger ending looks like we will finally see some good rampaging zombie vs Bennet daughters kicking ass in a sequel, but with the dismal box office, that doesn’t look promising.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a slight, kind of fun movies and worth a look, but wait till it hits Blu-ray or Netflix


Screen Writer Ink
Fade In Is Just The Beginning

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a slight, kind of fun movies and worth a look, but wait till it hits Blu-ray or Netflix