By Barbara Young —
A friend pointed out to me that I have an obsession with “bad movies.” You know, the ones that you go into just knowing they’ll be awful. For some reason watching a bad movie just makes me more happy than a good movie ever could (call it a special kind of masochism if you like). So, when I heard they were making Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (PPZ), a book based on the Jane Austen title of the same name (sans Zombies), into a movie I knew immediately that I wanted to see nothing else.
PPZ is exactly what you’d expect. It’s an averagely designed film with average actors, and a mildly interesting story line. But I kinda loved it anyways. I’m a huge fan of the original Pride & Prejudice, so I think I appreciated this film more just for that fact.
The movie follows the traditional story line to an extent. The romance and locations are the same, but with a new twist; now it’s during a zombie apocalypse!
Instead of a simple family of seven, the Bennet family’s five daughters are now zombie slayers. The two eldest, Jane (Bella Heathcote), and the second oldest, Elizabeth (Lily James), a.k.a. Lizzie, are the focus of the story, along with their love interests, Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) and Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth).
One bonus of the strange inclusion of zombies is that the age old romance tale now has a driving plot line. The movie begins with a picture book expose of how the zombies have taken over the majority of Europe so now everyone is trained in the martial arts in order to protect themselves and their country.
Is it a good driving plot? Meh. It’s suspenseful and moves things along, but I’d never praise it as a hidden gem of zombie films. It relies mainly on suspenseful music and extremely dark lighting to build fear and then it throws a zombie at the screen.
The biggest disappointment of the film, for me, was Mr. Darcy. He’s supposed to be handsome and you’re meant to progressively grow to like him. This film doesn’t do that. Mr. Darcy isn’t handsome, he uses a strange rough voice and is just generally unlikable.
Finally the movie’s ending is unsatisfying. Throughout the film we’re introduced to several levels of villains, but at the end only one level is solved. It’s not even an ending! And they missed an opportunity to have an amazing fight scene for the final credits so it ends very unsatisfyingly.
So, is this movie good? No. Did I love it anyways? Kinda, yes. Despite hating being scared via jump scares I immediately laughed after every one because the movie was so ridiculous. I’ll give it an honest rating, but either way, I’ll probably rewatch it.