Halloween-O-Meter: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Halloween-O-Meter: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is an action-horror film that follows- well it’s Pride and Prejudice. And Zombies. The film is based on the novel adaptation by Seth Grahame-Smith, which in turn was based on the classic romance novel by Jane Austen. If you aren’t familiar with the story, five sisters in 19th century England must cope with the pressures to marry while protecting themselves from a growing population of zombies. What’s that? I just lazily copied the IMDb plot summary? Well maybe the movie shouldn’t be so lazy.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was released in 2016, in the charred remains left of the zombie craze left by the box office hit World War Z (2013). The film didn’t even recover its budget, with a questionable release date and a poor reception being just a few factors that led to the film’s downfall. Why then review it? Well if you are reading this on the day we posted it, it is Tuesday. Nobody reads reviews on Tuesday apparently. But hey, I said I’d review one a day!
It is hard to give all the fault to the film for the story, especially without having read the book. So with that in mind, the idea is unique enough. With it comes some interesting costumes, decent performances (especially from lead Lily James), and an overarching witty sense of irony. The film takes itself seriously, which should be commended. It won’t be, but it should be.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a tonal trainwreck. The film feels as forced as trying to add to an existing story by simply writing words on a page already full of other words. The worldbuilding is as sensical as it is subtle, and the film’s choice to take the tone seriously means you get to question every ridiculous moment of it. Worst of all is the pacing, which can only be described as- well boring. I mean say what you will about the movie, it doesn’t seem like it has alot to work with. But with that grace given, gosh it’s not interesting! At all.
As good as Lily James is, the film wastes most of the rest of the cast, including Lena Headey and Matt Smith, both of whom feel like they are visiting their old high school without any of their graduating class with them. On top of that, I didn’t care too much for the characters. They aren’t terrible, as the film does focus more on the drama than the apocalypse. Still, some of the choices made surrounding the important characters are- questionable. Also maybe don’t be afraid to kill a few of them? It’s a zombie movie, but we never get any real stakes.
Look, at best it’s a guilty pleasure, and at worst it’s unwatchable. I think it’s truthfully somewhat between ‘fun to make fun of’ and ‘a two hour nap.’ Overall though, this is what happens when you don’t put work into your screenplay. I don’t know if its too many changes or not enough, but I do know that this movie is too ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and not enough ‘and Zombies.’ 4/10.
THAT SAID, I would totally give someone a pass if they told me this was on their Halloween watchlist. Why? Because you book snobs out there with your fancy words and higher IQ don’t want to stoop to silly slasher movies. Well this is for you! Okay I’m mostly joking, but seriously, I know people who would live this despite it being bad. I mean, how many Victorian era horror films are there? And it’s PG-13! So it’s dumb fun for literature fans at least! 3 out of 5 Scary Pumpkins.
So Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? Have you seen it? What do you think? And what classic story would you add zombies to? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let us know! And if you liked this review and you want to read more, be sure to leave a like or a comment below letting us know what else we should rank on our Halloween-O-Meter!
-review by Ryan Prince