Jane Austen’s classic literary work received a major overhaul when back in 2009, Seth Grahame-
Five sisters in 19th century England must cope with the pressures to marry while protecting themselves from a growing population of zombies.
The story, as you all bloody well should know, primarily follows the courtship of Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) and her awkward relationship with the arrogant and condescending Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley). Although all the other sisters are featured in the movie, they fall primarily into the background, with only Jane (Bella Heathcote) taking screen time as the “prettier” sister. Her relationship with the ever-so-handsome Charles Bingly (Douglas Booth) is one of the bigger sub-plots of the movie and was done rather well, with both characters being portrayed as rather aloof (or perhaps a bit dense) when compared to Elizabeth and Darcy. The remainder of the screen time was taken up by Jack Huston playing the mysterious Mr. Wickham and Matt Smith (Of Dr. Who fame) playing the awkwardly hilarious Parson Collins. Lena Headey did have a fair bit of screen time but her role as Lady Catherine felt a lot more like a cameo, and I could not take those scenes seriously whatsoever.
For those wondering how this entire zombie-apocalypse-battle-maiden-ninja-monk subplot fits into the whole dynamic of a laborious romantic comedy, well it just does. I don’t know how or why it works, so just leave it alone and roll with it. The movie is incredibly campy and and really slips and and out between utter cheese and Victorian melodrama; really poignant, dramatic language spattered with blood, calls for brains, and ludicrous battle scenes. This holds together well thanks to its pretty phenomenal casting and presumably large budget. Had this been made on a B-movie budget and with less seasoned actors, it could possibly have been the worst thing to have ever hit the big screen (Which in all fairness would also have been something I would have watched anyway).
The movie succeeded in the fact that it did not take itself too seriously, while also allowing for the brilliance that is Austen’s sharply crafted female characters to shine through. Darcy’s devastation of a marriage proposal is one of the most memorable scenes of the movie, as well Matt Smith’s utterly creepy yet whimsical portrayal of Collins. His enthusiasm on the dance floor is alone worth the rental cost of the movie. All of the cast held their own and were entertaining beyond expectations, although I did find that the trailers built up a somewhat different perception of the movie. I was expecting more of a Victorian “Underworld” and instead got…Pride and Prejudice with Zombies.
This was ultimately a fun movie, though it is far from what I would call a horror. Adventure? Action? Romance? Comedy? Yes, yes, yes, and yes again. Horror not so much. Still definitely worth your time, especially as a solid date movie. Catch the trailer below.
And just for fun…
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.