Monday 13 June 2016

Zombies! With a little Pride and a little Prejudice. #MonsterMondays 39

I have a film rec for you today, because I have finally seen Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and it is glorious :).

Zombies! With a little Pride and a little Prejudice.

Title: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Rating: 15
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
Exploration of the New World brought with it, not just wonders, but also a plague that turns the dead into brain craving monsters. All British young people of a certain social standing, be they male or female, train in the arts of the East, the rich in Japan, the wise in China. Thus prepared to deal with the undead, all young ladies must also worry about the most important thing: finding a husband.

I must admit, I tried reading the book that this film is based on and could no get on with it. I was bored out of my skull by page 20. Hence I was not sure I was going to enjoy the film. However, I take back all my doubts - this is a brilliant movie.

First of all I am going to talk about the zombies, because this is, after all, Monster Monday. I really like the thought behind the zombies in this film. When infected the victims do not simply turn into slathering, brain eating beasts. In fact a newly infected individual cannot be easily identified. They remain completely human looking and acting, just with an almost insatiable need for brains.

This means, if they can control the hunger, they can hide in plain sight until they want to attack.

Only once they have fed does the degeneration set in, making the craving for brains stronger and stronger, and the decay worse and worse.

This gives a whole new level to the monsters in the movie, because they are not simply animals. They are like vampires or werewolves who maintain their minds, making them that much harder to deal with. This makes them far more interesting.

The cast also do a magnificent job with what must be an interesting dichotomy. They are English ladies and gentlemen, but they can also kick some serious arse. They maintain the air of a Jane Austin story with all the romance and the pride and the misjudging, while fighting zombies in such a way that brain eating monsters do not destroy the atmosphere.

The girls magnificently rescue the boys, who gallantly rescue the girls, who intelligently rescue the boys, who .... well you get the picture.

Lily James as Elizabeth Bennet
Lily James is brilliant as Lizzy Bennet. She is a force to be reckoned with in all the ways you would expect a Jane Austin heroine to be, as well as being able to layout zombies left, right and centre. What is nice though is she's not invincible. She's no Alice (Resident Evil), but she is just as capable.

Sam Riley as Darcy
Then we have Sam Riley as Darcy, who is cold and aloof and terribly dashing, plus being a dab hand with a katana. He spends almost the entire film looking very serious, and if you were worried he wouldn't fit his breeches as well as Colin Firth, worry no longer - he definitely does ;).

The scene where Darcy first proposes to Lizzy and she rejects him is a stroke of complete genius. I will not give away any spoilers, but it is utterly brilliant. While having the air of English gentry, it uses the setting of the film so incredibly well.

Likewise, the way Lizzy and Lady Catherine de Bourgh sort out their differences of opinion over Mr Darcy is equally superb.

Bella Heathcote as Jane and Douglas Booth as Bingley
Then we have Bella Heathcote as Jane and Douglas Booth as Bingley, who are both as adorable as they should be, but quite willing to do battle when they have to. In fact Jane seems more willing and capable than Bingley, which is a nice touch.

All the rest of the Bennets are awesome, especially Charles Dance as Mr Bennet, who is more interested in keeping his daughters alive, rather than marrying them off. Sally Philips is also perfect as Mrs Bennet, just annoying enough :).

Special mentions must also go to Matt Smith as Parson Colins and Lena Headey as Lady Catherine de Bourgh, because they take their parts and run with them beautifully.

Then of course we have the villainous Wickham. He is played incredibly well by Jack Huston. We all know he's the cad, but the way he is woven into this plot is simply brilliant. I so love what they have done with his character.

In fact the whole plot is a stroke of genius. As I mentioned, I didn't get on with the book, but I think that's because I don't really get on with Jane Austen and the style is deliberately similar. However, in the film, the creators have captured the atmosphere, but with the excitement of a zombie film. This is a clever film. I have no idea why is only has 5.9 on IMDB, it should be an 8 or 9 easily. I suspect there are people looking down their nose at it because it's not pure literary and at the other end of the scale, fans who don't like romance with their zombies.

They also set it up beautifully for a sequel.

This film has:
  • all the romance you can handle
  • awesome fight scenes
  • intelligent zombies
  • a great plot
  • a superb cast.
I have the urge to watch it again right now, but have instead pre-ordered the blu-ray, which comes out at the end of the month. If you can't wait it is available to rent on various services.

Have you seen the film? What did you think? Are you planing on seeing it at all?


  1. I enjoyed the book so much when I read it, and I'm looking forward to seeing the film. I love Matt Smith, so I was slightly disappointed he was cast as Mr Collins, because he won't be in it much. What struck me when I read it, is how much sense it makes to the original... I can actually believe this is the story that Jane Austen didn't tell :-)

    1. Matt's in is quite a bit and he does a superb job.
      I think I may try and read the book again now I've seen the film - just do I can see if they changed anything :)

  2. I won't read or watch. I'm zombied out. Never my favorite genre now I'm so over it. So frightened by it, I can't even listen to the tales anymore. I read the reviews of the Walking Dead to keep up with what's happening, but I do not watch them anymore. I think age has something to do with it. Been afraid of them since I was 16, and it's only gotten worse. :) Silly, isn't it!
    Great review!

    1. We all have our idiosyncrasies :) When I was a teenager I loved distopian fiction (although I don't think we called it that :)), but these days I'm much more, oh come on, can't we have a brighter future? :) I'm not a huge fan of your average zombie, but these ones are different enough to pique my interest. It's also not a gory film, which helps, I think.

  3. Oooh, great to read your review of the movie! I was excited when I first saw the trailer since it seemed like a good mix of sass and civility :D I hope that it gets added to Netflix soon - that's about the only way I see movies these days.

    1. It is an awesome film. I don't understand why I haven't seen more hype about it.

      I thought it already was on Netflix, but that must just have been Google confusing me - I don't actually have a Netflix account so it's kind of hard to know what they have.

  4. I had no idea the movie was based on a book. I might check that out, because me and Jane Austen get on just fine. ;) Is the movie silly? I read somewhere it was too serious, and I think the only way it'd work (for me) is if it was pretty silly. :D

    1. I think the movie is a perfect balance. It's definitely not silly, but it is full of humour, and parts of it are pure brilliance. Really, the proposal scene between Darcy and Lizzy has to be seen to be believed - it's awesome. If you like Austin, I think you will like this movie, as long as you are not totally averse to zombies :).

  5. I'm missing a lot of movies now that I have to go to Canada if I want to see them in a theater. This one I want to see, but will probably have to wait until it's released.

    1. It comes out on DVD on the 27th June in the UK so it should hit most streaming services at the same time I should think. It's already on Amazon Movies US and seems to already be on DVD and blu-ray too - clearly the UK is behind.

  6. Hmmm. I did enjoy the book and have seen a couple of film adaptations. Was going to skip this, but you have changed my mind. On the TBW list it goes.


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