Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)A review by Shlomoh Sherman
November 6, 2016
|PPZ on IMDB|
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)
Plot Summary: Five sisters in early 19th century England must cope with the pressures to marry while protecting themselves from a growing population of zombies.
Director: Burr Steers
Writers: Burr Steers (screenplay), Jane Austen (Quirk Books novel)
Stars: Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston
Plot Summary - Plot Synopsis
Plot Keywords: zombie - based on novel - england - damsel in distress - deception - See All (290) »
Plot: The five highly trained Bennett sisters in Georgian England must try to protect themselves from the growing zombie threat, find suitable husbands for themselves, battle marriage proposals and unlikely suitors, and save the country before it's too late.
Taglines: Bloody lovely.
Genres: Action - Horror - Romance
Motion Picture Rating: (MPAA)
Rated PG-13 for zombie violence and action, and brief suggestive material
Country: USA - UK
Language: English - Japanese - Chinese
Release Date: February 5, 2016 (USA)
Filming Locations: West Wycombe House, West Wycombe Park, West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Budget: $28,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $5,324,240 (USA) (February 5, 2016)
Gross: $10,907,291 (USA) (26 February 2016)
Production Co: Cross Creek Pictures, Mad River Pictures, QC Entertainment
Runtime: 108 min
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a 2009 parody novel by Seth Grahame-Smith. It is a mashup combining Jane Austen's classic 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice with elements of modern zombie fiction, crediting Austen as co-author. It was first published in April 2009 by Quirk Books and in October 2009 a Deluxe Edition was released, containing full-color images and additional zombie scenes. The novel was adapted into a 2016 film.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a British-American comedy film based on Seth Grahame-Smith's 2009 novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which parodies the 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The film is directed by Burr Steers, who wrote the adapted screenplay.
In early 19th century England, a plague has infected the population, turning many of them into zombies. The signs of infection are slow to show themselves and a young man, Colonel Fitzwilliam Darcy, comes up with a way of ferreting out the undead, by releasing flies when he is near them and suspects their condition. "Flies", he observes, "are drawn to decaying flesh."
Darcy becomes attracted to Elizabeth Bennet, one of five sisters whom their mother wants married off to wealthy suitors. But these young women are not just pretty faces. They have all been trained in martial arts self defense and the use of various weapons in China so they can defend themselves from the zombies.
Similar to the Jane Austen original, the film focuses on the Bennet sisters – Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia. They all feel the pressure to find an eligible bachelor and get married, but in this version of the story there’s another major concern – a zombie outbreak.
The Bennets attend a ball where Darcy's friend, Bingley, falls for Elizabeth's sister, Jane. Zombies attack the ball and the Bennet sisters fight them and kill them.
Elizabeth meets a soldier named Wickham. She agrees to meet him at another ball, afterwhich she travels with him to a church filled where zombies are fed pig brains instead of human brains in order to keep their behaviour appearing normal. Wickham tells Elizabeth that humans can form an agreement with these "civilized" zombies in which peacefull coexistence can be possible. He asks Elizabeth for her hand in marriage but she declines. Darcy has also propsed to her but she has also turned him down. Apparently Elizabeth is a popular catch as an overbearing preacher, Parson Collins, has asked for her hand as well on condition that she give up her life as a warrior, fighting zombies.
Some time later, Darcy warns Elizabeth about Wickham's real plans. He and Wickham were childhood friends but he suspects that Wickham may have murdered his father who had left him an inheritance. Darcy learns that Wickham is actually using the "civilized" zombies to create a zombie army with which he plans to overrun and rule England. Darcy switches the pig brains with human brains which turns the zombies savage.
I won't reveal what happens next so as not to be a spolier. I'll just say that in the midst of the ending credits scene, Wickham leads a horde of zombies toward the Darcy and Elizabeth wedding celebration. So will there be a Pride And Prejudice And Zombies 2?
Right now it’s a question mark as to whether or not we will ever see the end to this impressive charge, but critic Eric Eisenberg in his own review of the film writes in his blog at http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Pride-Prejudice-Zombies-2-Here-What-We-Know-111627.html that director writer/director Burr Steers recently revealed that would love to do a sequel.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 42%, based on 152 reviews. mashup its title suggests." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 45 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of B- on an A+ to F scale. Rafer Guzmán of Newsday wrote positively about the film, giving the film three out of four stars, calling it "an unexpected and off-kilter treat, thanks to a BBC-quality cast and (un)deadpan humor." Lindsey Bahr of the Associated Press gave a negative review, saying "This story might have been better suited to a television adaptation." Britton Peele of The Dallas Morning News gave the film a B-, calling the film "Fun, funny, gory and yet still strangely romantic."
There is an interesting Huffington Post article on what the film tells us about women in early 19th century England.
Here's my take on PPZ. At first, when we hear the title, we feel that this has to be a ridiculous movie because wedding Jane Austen's story to a tale of zombie apocalypsis seems stupid. But as I watched the movie, I was caught up in the story as just another zombie story. If we put Jane Austen, that is, the IDEA of Pride and Prejudice, out of our minds while we watch, then the film comes across as a pretty decent horror movie set in 19th century England [where many horror movies take place]. The acting, the atractiveness of the young people, the cinematography, the music, and the CGI blend together to create an enjoyable movie experience for those of us who are horror enthusiasts. I actually liked the movie enough to recommend it to you if you haven't seen it yet. There is much to the plot, and sub-plots, which I havent revealed. These give the story interesting twists. The fight scenes involving various weapons, especially when handled by women, are very well choreographed and exciting. The formal, stylized approach to courting and romance typical of the Georgian Era is a sweet contrast to the overly passionate approach we see in movies about modern 21st century life such as SEX AND THE CITY. And the zombies are all too human-like for comfort, very unlike those portrayed in THE WALKING DEAD or Z NATION. Take your brains to a nearby theater and defintely see the movie. Just don't let the z's get to them.
Did You Know?
Discuss Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on the IMDb message boards
Read about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on the Internet Movie Data Base HERE
Cast overview, first billed only:
Lily James ... Elizabeth Bennet
Sam Riley ... Colonel Fitzwilliam Darcy
Bella Heathcote ... Jane Bennet
Ellie Bamber ... Lydia Bennet
Millie Brady ... Mary Bennet
Suki Waterhouse ... Kitty Bennet
Douglas Booth ... Mr. Bingley
Sally Phillips ... Mrs. Bennet
Charles Dance ... Mr. Bennet
Jack Huston ... Lt. George Wickham
Lena Headey ... Lady Catherine de Bourgh
Matt Smith ... Parson Collins
Emma Greenwell ... Caroline Bingley
Eva Bell ... Louisa
Aisling Loftus ... Charlotte
Dolly Wells ... Mrs. Featherstone
Tom Lorcan ... Lieutenant Denny
Hermione Corfield ... Cassandra
Jess Radomska ... Annabelle Netherfield
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