Pride and Prejudice and Zombies entertaining, but for all the wrong reasons


Photo by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Lily James and Sam Riley star in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy

Seth Ritchie, contributing writer

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is the film adaptation of the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, and was released on Feb. 5, 2016. It takes place in an alternate version of 19th century England where a zombie plague has ravaged the country and heroine Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) deals  with not only the social ramifications of being a landed gentry, but also hordes of the living dead.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies makes no effort to hide its campy nature. Tongue is firmly in cheek as a black leather donning Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) is shown slicing off the head of a zombie from the zombie’s perspective. However, the movie takes itself seriously, progressing as if everything makes complete sense, which only enhances the humor. The characters are deliberately deadpan, except for a giddily incompetent Parson Collins (Matt Smith), making even the most minute scenes chuckle worthy.

However, where the movie falters at its script. While it is fun to go along with the ride, the plot doesn’t make sense at a second glance. The dialogue is rough and forced at times, problems are presented and dealt with quickly, and the movie itself has an uneven pace, with times of action merely sprinkled in as it takes a backseat to the classic love story. The third act is particularly tedious in that it features messy build up to an uninspired climax.

All being said, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a fun movie. What it lacks in narrative weight it makes up for in a well-cast, well-executed and hilariously strange premise that will delight some who are willing to accept its faults.