I remember distinctly back in 2009 walking around in the local bookstore and a particular book entitled, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, catching my eye. At first glance, my initial thought was "Oh good God, what is this?". But after standing there reading the first 5 pages I didn't think it was that bad. On the other hand, I certainly never would have even thought in a million years that it would have ever been made into a movie. Now, after having seen the flick, I have to say, I don't mind being proven wrong in this particular instance. I won't lie though, I read the book Pride and Prejudice when I was a teen and I have to say, it did not leave all that big of an impression on me. However, adding zombies to a Regency era story originally written by iconic novelist Jane Austen, did spark some curiosity deep within me. No matter how silly the logical part of my brain thought the concept was.
The process of the book getting turned into a movie definitely took more time than it did for the characters to turn into zombies in the story. First, Natalie Portman was to be cast as the lead, Elizabeth Bennet, but because scheduling conflicts she reconsidered and decided to leave the role, but instead stay on the project to serve as a producer - pretty smart move on her part if I do say so myself. Goes to show her commitment to and faith in the film! After several other considerations and offers for the lead, it eventually went to Lily James, whose work you may recognize from the live action adaptation of Disney's Cinderella. Or, if you follow the show, Downton Abbey. Other cast members include the likes of Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows), Sam Riley (Control, Maleficent, and On The Road), Charles Dance and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), and Matt Smith (Doctor Who). Impressed? You should be! That was one heck of a talented cast to boot! With what should've been a silly little movie about zombies in early 19th century England with 5 sibling sisters who have training in martial arts and weaponry, the entire cast, with their sturdy performances, gave what was happening in the movie enough validity to keep my interest in the lives of the characters, and even made me care about them. Which is what I want when I watch a film. I want to care about the characters..or despise them, depending on whether they convince me of their villainous intentions. Next to those sturdy performances I thought the locations and costumes were rich with delectable poise! Just enchanting and appeasing to the eye!
Now, even though, this movie deals with zombies, I do have to point out that there is a significant twist with the zombies and how they're perceived! Which is quite refreshing, with as many zombie flicks as I have seen in my time. I do also have to make it known that even though there is some really cool action scenes and a handful of groovy zombie kills, with what I saw, that took up maybe Nearly half of the movie. The remaining percentage of it involved you in the romantic/dramatic plot that the original Jane Austen novel contained, with all the spoils of Love and Deception. Plus, I'll just come right out and say it. I love the language and verbiage of that era and those characters! As a writer, I am just a sucker for it! Overall though, I do have to say; in a strange way, it managed to balance itself out nicely. Even though there is a part of me that would've loved to have seen a tad more zombie kills and more gore. PG-13? Really, guys? Do away with the shadow play and quick cuts, and just give the sequel an R rating with all the bloody and gory goodness that the horror fans are looking for. There is in fact a sequel in the book series entitled, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After" (Great title). So, everyone, fingers crossed on a more gorier and bloodier movie sequel! With all of this said, I won't even deny that this movie is just flat out fun and entertaining! Definitely worth a watch!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Movie Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"