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John’s Horror Corner: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016), combining a refined literary British love story and a zombie apocalypse into a tasty brain stew.

February 14, 2016

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MY CALL: This multi-dimensional movie equally boasts action, an alternate history based on a classic novel, a zombie apocalypse, and a gender role-rich love story complicated by the British class system. On all accounts, I’d say this film succeeded. MORE MOVIES LIKE Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: For more literary and historic figures fighting evil try Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) or Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013). Want more zombie-induced romance? Then maybe Warm Bodies (2013) is more your speed.

Best known for his work on the Zac Efron movies 17 Again (2009) and Charlie St. Cloud (2010), writer/director Burr Steers, boldly steps into 18th century England and tries to please horror fan and bookworm alike as Jane Austin’s complicated Victorian romance crosses paths with the zombie apocalypse in this sleek undead period piece. This is every bit as much a love story as much as it is a zombie action movie and its tongue-in-cheek comedy comes specifically from their admixture.

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For the survival of our species the Victorian-era women have decidedly sacrificed some of their practice in the feminine ways of pleasantry to study the eastern arts of war in China and Japan. That is, of course, until finding a handsome man of means to marry well.

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I went into this expecting something akin to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) or Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) in terms of action frequency, CGI and gore. Yes to the first two, but except for the gory zombie make-up/CGI itself (of which we see a great diversity) we don’t find the typically gut-ripping exploitative gore within the high production value. The amount of action is happily sufficient–though certainly not constant as there is a lot of plot and relationship going on as well. The fight scenes are not technically wowing–not like they got the choreographers from The Matrix movies or The Bourne series–but they remain very entertaining.

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What this film lacks in flesh-rending it makes up for with stimulating romantic interests which will surely draw smiles as the dialogue often stays true to Jane Austin’s treasured novel. As Elizabeth Bennet, Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) does a fantastic job opposite Sam Riley’s (Maleficent, Ghost in the Shell) eligible but coarse Mr. Darcy. Douglas Booth (Jupiter Ascending, Noah) and Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows, In Time) also deliver, and Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Underworld 5, Dracula Untold), Matt Smith (Dr. Who, Terminator Genisys) and Lena Headey (The Purge, Game of Thrones, Dredd) provide various stage presence for the genre film fans.

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There are a lot of scenes that will really stand out. The two fly zombie detection scenes and the church scene, to name a few, provided new flavors not commonly tasted in the zombie genre’s oft-rehashed brain stew. Most intriguingly is that this newer iteration of the zombie is intelligent. Not in the sense of the Romero trilogy zombie which slowly evolved into something more intelligent with each film (e.g., using tools, firing guns, enjoying music), but as crafty and manipulative entities hiding their zombiism and plotting against the uninfected. Now there’s a new spin!

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This multi-dimensional movie equally boasts action, an alternate history based on a classic novel, a zombie apocalypse, and a gender role-rich love story complicated by the British class system. On all accounts, I’d say this film succeeded.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. imustseemovie.com permalink
    February 14, 2016 8:46 am

    this movie looks so bad did anyone like this movie?

    • John Leavengood permalink
      February 14, 2016 11:27 am

      I’m telling you for real. It’s good–cheeky and loads of fun, but not stupid “bad” fun. We have two different reviews up on this site, both very positive.

      • imustseemovie.com permalink
        February 14, 2016 1:57 pm

        Cool I will check it out

Trackbacks

  1. John’s Horror Corner INDEX: a list of all my horror reviews by movie release date | Movies, Films & Flix
  2. The MFF Podcast #48: Pride and Prejudice and Witch Trials | Movies, Films & Flix
  3. Viy: Forbidden Empire (2014), a mediocre Russian dark fantasy boasting cool monsters. | Movies, Films & Flix
  4. The Neon Demon (2016), visually stunning, morally reprehensible, and emotionally traumatic. | Movies, Films & Flix

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