Movie Review: Pride + Prejudice + Zombies

Lily James plays a gun-toting’ Elizabeth Bennet ready to take on all the brain eaters that come her way. Photo Courtesy: Sony Pictures

By Taylor C. Berrier

Who doesn’t like a good zombie flick? Okay, maybe a lot of people don’t. It’s a genre mostly reserved for a cult following and other niche fan bases of genres such as horror and sci-fi, and every now and then, comedy. We all have heard the name George A. Romero and every so often the name of Sam Raimi get’s thrown into the conversation. But few have ever even heard the name Burr Steers at all. Well, in case you didn’t know, Burr Steers is the man who wrote and directed Pride + Prejudice + Zombies. If you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, Jane Austen wrote Pride + Prejudice and she certainly didn’t write about any brain eating monsters.” Well, in a way you would be correct, and at the same time incorrect. If you have ever read any of Austen’s work or have seen the film adaptations, you would know Austen might as well have written about zombies, because most her stories and characters are as interesting as the living dead in the way the living dead would be in real life. Not very.

Burr Steers deserves applause for his contributions to Austen’s work, as drag as it may seem. Zombies inflicting death and destruction to the world of the Pride + Prejudice universe has made Austen’s story slightly more bearable and spiced it up enough to appease the zombie-loving audience.

The movie focuses on the lives of five sisters, all looking for courtship in a 19th century London that is barricaded behind a zombie-ridden Europe. They must face the everyday perils of zombie attacks and the possible onset of the apocalypse.

Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) portrays Elizabeth Bennet and Sam Riley, rumored to star in next year’s Ghost in the Shell movie alongside Scarlett Johansson, portrays the anti-love interest Mr. Darcy, who, for the sake of keeping to the romance found throughout Austen’s original piece, happens to end up more the bachelor than the zombie killer. Jack Huston (American HustleEmpire Boardwalk) plays the antagonist George Wickham.

But my favorite role in this movie that seemed to bring it all together for me and provide the worth of the film was the appearance of Matt Smith as the bachelor Parson Collins. He get’s just enough screen time to draw in all the Doctor Who fans with his unparalleled coyness and charm. It was good to seem him back in sci-fi after his portrayal of the previous Doctor in the series.

Cinematography holds together, as the shots are clear and vivid, and the imagery of the zombie is everything you could ask for in a zombie flick. Burr Steers is nothing to drive home about, but for his resume it raises the bar.

Check out Pride + Prejudice + Zombies in theaters now, or maybe wait a little while for it to land on Netflix. This might be one of those movies you watch when you are really bored or if you just need something playing in the background while you do your spring cleaning. Either way, I would choose to stream this one. Check out the official trailer posted below, and if you go see it, tell me what you think on Twitter. If you are apart of the zombie cult following, I’d just love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Was this film up to your zombie snuff?