ppzEllie Bamber, Bella Heathcote, Lily James, Millie Brady, and Suki Waterhouse

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Written and directed by Burr Steers
Out February 5
Screen Shot 2016 02 04 at 12.50.41 PM


Almost seven years after Seth Grahame-Smith’s parody novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, enjoyed its brief moment in the spotlight, the film adaptation has finally arrived. And the good news is—it’s a lot of fun. The title gives away the simple, silly concept: What if Pride and Prejudice had zombies in it? Jane Austen’s classic story is now set in an alternate version of Regency-era England, where social events are held in secure fortresses to keep out rabid zombie hordes. Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley are part of the zombie-fighting British army, and the Bennet sisters are all zombie-fighting ninjas. (Unfortunately, though there are many references to martial-arts training in Japan and China, there’s not a single Asian cast member—definitely a missed opportunity.) The love story proceeds as expected, but with plenty of gory zombie carnage to go around. And there are several references that devoted  Janeites will catch, including a Colin Firth-esque lake scene and a few lines borrowed from Persuasion.

P&P&Z succeeds largely because of its cast. Sam Riley (Maleficent, On The Road) might not make my Top Five Mr. Darcys list, but Lily James (Downton Abbey, Cinderella) makes an excellent Elizabeth Bennet. The real scene-stealers are Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) as Lady Catherine De Bourgh and Matt Smith (Doctor Who) as Mr. Collins. The result is an entertaining, over-the-top horror comedy that will appeal to Austen fans who don’t mind a little blood and guts, and zombie genre fans who—just like Elizabeth Bennet—“dearly love a laugh.”

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Review by Erika W. Smith

This review originally appeared in the February/March print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today


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