Blood and Bonnets: A review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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Terrific fun, this is a huge improvement from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, it’s funny, scary and well-made entertainment. Don’t listen to the reviews, it’s a great ride.

Based on the book of the same name, PaPaZ is exactly as it sounds, a story where the characters from the Austen novel live in the same world as a Zombie apocalypse.

Whilst essentially a gimmick, it’s remarkable how well it blends together. The Bennet sisters are now feminist heroes, kicking-ass and refusing to bow to the patriarchy, Elizabeth is a successor to Buffy, quick, sharp-witted and elegant, she’s deft with a blade and won’t be sold off to the first man that comes along.

The ass-kicking isn’t some macho impression on the characters, these women remain feminine whilst simply having the skills to do what must be done. They’re as equal as any man in that regard and they shine through.

Lily James is great as Elizabeth and the rest of the cast all nicely fit their roles, yet the show is stolen by Matt Smith as the frightfully dim Parson Collins, bringing more than enough humor to the Film. His character has all the funniest gags and he brings a bit of The Doctors facial expressions to the role.

The Film is also quite scary, there are more than a few scenes in which the dead are quite creepy and there are plenty of great jump scares. These zombies may still speak and hold personality at the beginning but once they become animals they become gory and scary, with some great zombie make-up.

It’s a surprisingly well put together Film, with a nice blending script that combines the elements of both the period and a zombie apocalypse making it seem like a great fit. The script is nicely put together and the dialogue mostly works together.

There’s none of the gratuitous slow-mo of something like Sucker Punch and none of the murky CGI of Abraham Lincoln. It’s edited well, cutting the action with great precision and power. A scene with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth is a pretty great smackdown fight.

There are some plot issues. Whilst it follows through the central story from the original novel, the story of the Zombie apocalypse and the four horsemen is left strangely by the wayside, without a real climax or ending. This is strange considering you’d think they’d want to focus more on Zombie carnage, but in fact, there’s more of a dramatic heft to the romance story.

All in all, I actually really enjoyed it and never felt bored or annoyed. It’s got good action, despite having less of it than I thought it would have, funny characters and a strong feminist theme. Good stuff.

Rating: B

 

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