‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ is Plain Jane Without a Brain

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” was a fresh idea once, I swear.

When Seth Grahame-Smith released the novel in 2009, it was coming at a perfect time when the zombie fad was at its peak. It was still considered by most to be a clever, subservice counterculture and had yet to be exposed as a lazy, ironic byproduct of the hipster craze.

Now that most of the world seems to have grown out of this temporary obsession, the film “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” looks more like an embarrassing relic from a bygone era. It is the cinematic equivalent of looking through old, cringe-worthy Facebook pictures.

There has to be an audience for this regrettable teenage haircut of a movie though, right?

High school students who hated being forced to read Jane Austen and adults with arrested development are the likely targets, I suppose. The movie has little else to offer to those looking for more than the cheap premise.

Real Austen fans won’t be impressed by the hollow romantic scenes, and horror fans won’t be impressed by the watered-down, PG-13 zombies.

It ends up being the worst of both worlds instead of the best.

The only appealing aspect of the movie is the young cast that play this ridiculous scenario with admirable sincerity.

Lily James is a fierce and charming Elizabeth Bennett and Matt Smith takes a hilarious turn here as Parson Collins. It is baffling that Smith has not been featured more in the advertising as he is the best part of the movie and at least some of his “Doctor Who” fanbase would have shown up for him.

The film missed out on that opportunity just like it missed out on taking advantage of the original fad that spawned it.

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is an appropriately dead figure that is somehow coming at us anyway. It shambles to nothing more than 5 “sensible sea monsters” out of 10.

 

Brady Simenson
Managing Editor
bsime172@uwsp.edu

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