Oh, this movie was great fun. I had heard not great things about the book by Seth Grahame-Smith, but when I saw the first trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (PPZ) I had hopes for a ridiculous, roller coaster of a film. And PPZ delivered.
Lizzie Bennet (Lily James) and her sisters look very similar to their versions you are familiar with—except there are blades hidden underneath those fancy dresses. And the sisters are were trained to use them. These are independent ladies who have risen to the occasion of helping protect their world from the undead.
The story loosely follows the well known storyline of Jane Austen’s Pride & Predjudice. Mrs. Bennet (Sally Phillips) is looking for husbands for her girls, there are battles of wit, but their dances are interrupted by the undead. Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) is just as memorable as other versions of this story, although there is certainly a twist at the end of the movie in regards to Mr. Darcy and Lizzie. This twist just made the movie even better in my opinion.
I appreciated that PPZ didn’t try to be more than it was. It opens with clever credits that tell the audience the history of this world, and dives right in. This movie is fairly gory, I would say a bit more than many of the PG-13 movies in the monster genre. There is blood flying and sounds of crushed zombie heads. PPZ’s version of the zombie genre is unique in that the undead do not become mindless ravenous hoards until they have had their first bite of human brains. And here is where Darcy and Lizzie have their differences. Darcy is a soldier and will not hesitate to kill anyone who has been bitten; Lizzie is not convinced that there is no hope for the undead. This raises some philosophical questions for discussion post-movie as well.
While there is no sexual content, a few of Lizzie Bennet’s dresses are very low. There is a no profanity, and most of the “objectionable content” is due to violence. It is a zombie movie, and if you are uncomfortable with monster-killing gore, this is not the movie for you. If you would enjoy watching a story about five women in 19th century England, coping with the pressures to marry while protecting themselves from a growing population of zombies, then PPZ will probably hit the sweet spot for you.
Heidi Joelle is professional minion by day and a writer, editor, and reader by night. She can be coaxed from the house by the sound of a good adventure, or traveling somewhere new. Her Saint Bernard, Smokey, and problem-solving cat, Diamond, bring extra joy to daily life.