I picture writer Seth Grahame-Smith sitting at home reading Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” and thinking the only thing this story was really missing was zombies. Now if you think about it, with all the love that the world has for zombies (thanks The Walking Dead), why didn’t anyone else think of this? So instead of writing “Romeo and Juliet and Zombies” I am sticking to just writing about the film versions of these stories I wish I thought of.
So what is “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” about exactly? Well it’s a lot like “Pride and Prejudice” (shocker), but while Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) and Elizabeth Bennet (Lilly James) still fall in love, this time they get to do it while fighting zombies. The heart of the story remains the same, with a few changes to fight the added plot. Not only a wall surrounds the entire city, but a moat now as well proctects the city of London. The living are doing what they can to survive by fortifying their estates with fences with spikes. This is about the well-to-do, so the poor seem to be pretty much the majority of the walking dead, but zombies don’t know class, so soon the upper members of society are also infected. While the zombie infestation is rather important, so is Mrs. Bennet’s (Sally Phillips) desire to marry her daughters to a fine young man, of course some might argue marriage is another cause of someone becoming a zombie. They say love will conquer all; the question is will it help stop the zombie apocalypse?
It would be too easy to walk in this film with the expectations that it was not going to be an almost two hours of bloody garbage. I instead walked in with no expectations at all and seeing where that ride took me. I have to say as the film ended I like the place it went. “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” takes the original Jane Austen novel serious enough while having enough fun with the zombie part. Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) not only adapts both Austen’s and Grahame-Smith’s novels, he also directs this surprisingly fun film. Sure there is some pure ridiculousness that you have to endure, but its not at the point where it takes away from anything. The film does also suffer from a little English stuffiness but that is released when Matt Smith (Dr. Who) appears on the screen. After watching 2012’s “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, also by the same writer, I am curious to see where they go next. Until then I think you should have enough sense and sensibility to want to see Jane Austen classic novel with the addition of the living dead, because isn’t that what all classic literature is missing in the first place?