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Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

REVIEWS - DVD REVIEWS

Richard Cosgrove laces up his corset and checks out Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...

When Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out it book form in 2009 it was a breath of fresh air for the shambling undead genre, and a clever use of mashing up classic literature that had become out of copyright with something quite unexpected. Having never read Jane Austen’s original, I found it reasonably enjoyable, but nothing to write home about.

Seven years, and much development hell, later Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is finally a film, and while, like your humble scribe, you may think it’s a good way to get your classic literature loving other half to sit down and watch a horror film with you, the reality is that while there are indeed undead things popping up at regular intervals, there is far more Jane Austen than George A Romero on offer.

How much you enjoy P&P&Z (as we shall call it henceforth) apparently very much depends on how familiar you are with Austen’s original text, as I was helpfully informed by my viewing companions who were much more familiar and at home with the classic Pemberley residence than the Spencer Mansion. My brother in gore and I who had used our persuasion to get our other halves to watch this with us found P&P&Z to be merely an adequate zombie movie, whereas they actually enjoyed it as a kind of blood pattered satire on Austen’s beloved tome.

That’s not to say that P&P&Z is without merit, because it’s a perfectly acceptable two beer movie that is best enjoyed after disengaging the brain and going along for the ride, but if you’re hoping for some decent cadaver action then you’re probably best off digging out your copy of Resident Evil or World War Z. If you are an Austen buff, however, then the transformation of Elizabeth and Darcy’s duel of words into a literal duel is amusing, and to be fair the acting itself is worthy of anything that the BBC has mustered in a period drama, but the attempt to service both the book and the bloodshed means that it frequently ends up short changing the audience on both.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn’t a bad film, and certainly worth a watch out of curiosity if there’s not much else on offer, but equally it’s not destined to go down in history with much better rom-zom-coms like Shawn of the Dead.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is out on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD today

3 stars


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