Rewriting Jane – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

It’s come to this.  A reimagining of the classic Jane Austin novel, this is about the pressures of marriage that are placed upon women during the 19th century, all the while the zombie apocalypse is occurring outside of the walls around the city.  Now this is a movie that I think is funnier if you just heard about it by name.  While I have not read any novels written by Seth Grahame-Smith (he also did Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), I do understand that the man has a following, so I’m sure there’s something worthwhile in his books.  Make no mistake: this is the same story as Pride and Prejudice, and it hits all the beats that would expect from an airy period piece, which is not what I was expecting from a movie with the word “zombies” in the title.

2There are full scenes where everybody is simply talking about marriage.

This leads me to a very important question: who was this made for?  It should be said that while this features plenty of the typical stabbings and decapitations that come with a zombie apocalypse, there is hardly any blood to be found, which isn’t going to satisfy the people that are watching this for the horror factor.  The crowd that usually goes for Jane Austin usually watch adaptations for faithfulness to the source material, so I don’t think they’re going to like this, either.  It makes perfect sense that nobody went to see this, and it didn’t even make half of its budget back at the box office.  The market out there for this is slim, and it didn’t connect with me, either.

1This might work for the absolute biggest fan of The Walking Dead who is so zombie crazy, they will settle for scraps, but that’s purely speculation.

At this point, I can’t help but feel that zombies are played out.  There is such a saturation in a variety of different mediums, it has really reach the point where I think they need to go away for a while and be resurrected another day, pun partially intended.  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies did reach the point where I did get bored with it; everybody knows how this story plays out, and I never felt like the zombies added enough to it to make it worthy of your time.  I like the lead in this, Lily James, and I think she will have no problem making a career for herself after the live-action Cinderella (although this movie was clearly not a launching off point).  It’s really just got the one joke going for it, and that is the title itself.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) **1/2

– Critic for Hire


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