Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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It is universally acknowledged that a literary classic subsumed with Zombies must result in a thrilling movie adaptation. In the case of ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ this statement is most certainly accurate. The film, based on Robert Ayscough’s 2009 adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, offers a fresh take on an acclaimed novel by incorporating brain hankering zombies into the tale.

Ayscough’s editor effectively puts into words what it is that makes the concept of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies so attractive.

“You have this fiercely independent heroine and a dashing heroic gentleman, you have a militia camped out for seemingly no reason whatsoever nearby, and people are always walking here and here taking carriage rides… it’s just ripe for gore and senseless violence.”

Following the novel’s immense success, the film adaptation boasts fantastic cinematography, breathtaking costumes, and an incomparably thrilling moviegoer experience.

Contrasting with the original novel, it must be noted that despite the unorthodox implementation of zombies, violence and gore — which could easily be interpreted as ‘silly’ — elements that drew readers to the original story are not only present, but flawlessly interlaced with the new installations. One might even say its as though the novel was made for a zombie adaptation. Regardless, upon hearing about the film most people (particularly avid Austen fans) were skeptical of both its concept and merit. After actually viewing it, however, an overwhelming majority reported unexpected adoration and appreciation for the film’s atypical representation of Austen’s classic.

Aside form being a truly original reinterpretation, the talented and well-selected cast seals the deal; they’re the cherry on top of the cake. Whilst performing inane actions such as ripping each other’s clothes to shreds during sword fights, beheading hoards of attacking zombies, or training for battle in exotic countries, the cast was able to maintain the serious ethos of their characters without resembling a parody. Lily James and Sam Riley, for instance, expertly project the courage, integrity and deep emotions Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are known for — impressively emulating the famous hidden pain they’re experiencing. The supporting characters also made each character unique, especially Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) who plays zombie-slaying, eye-patch-wearing, Lady Catherine DeBurgh.

That being said, if the acting skills leave you unimpressed, the actors’ dashing good looks, fabulous frocks and ‘badass’ fighting skills will surely make a lasting impression. Hot Topic is even releasing a “regency-era fashion and inner-zombie-slayer” inspired fashion line based on the film! Because who said zombie slaying can’t be sexy?

An important disclaimer, however, is definitely necessary. As my friend Hanna — who I tricked into seeing the film despite knowing she was easily scared — stated while semi-hatefully glaring at me:

“If you are as faint-hearted as I am, don’t let yourself be fooled by the PG-15 rating and pretty posters. Within the first 10 minutes of the movie I was questioning whether or not I’d make it through without getting a heart attack, the blood and guts just look so real. But, I must admit it did get better as it went on. The romance from the original story gave a good counter balance to the violence and blood. I guess it’s good because its not too “icky-romantic” and not too gruesome.”

Clearly it’s not a film for everyone, but if you have an open mind, a love for comedy, romance, sword fights and zombie slaying, then you’ll definitely enjoy this film.

P.S. — I know this isn’t a Marvel movie, but I suggest staying until the end of the credits for a little surprise…

Written by Arianna Rossi

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