HEADING INTO Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, there are only two things you're dying to see: Mr. Darcy and zombies. The more the better (especially of the Darcy variety). Well, good news for all you empire waistoids—this adaption of Seth Grahame-Smith's 2009 parody novel of Jane Austen's classic is playing with a full deck of whist cards. It's funny, gory, and packed with moist-eyed Mr. Darcys (well, just one, but he's got moistness in spades). Guys, it's so much fun!
It doesn't matter why there are so many undead brain slurpers lurking around Regency-era England (I suspect the French were to blame), but those suckers are everywhere. The moneyed set hide in their palatial country estates, hosting balls and trying to marry off their eligible daughters, who are trained in the warrior art of slaying zombs. While you may already be familiar with heroine Elizabeth Bennet's plight—single, capable, smart, not as pretty as her sister Jane—you might not be so familiar with her plight in a setting rife with monsters. Austen's subtle story of drawing room dynamics and wrong-headed youth becomes much more fraught when the stakes are raised to life-and-death levels. And P&P&Z gracefully spends its time between effective romcom and ass-kicking hijinks.
I can see where the Austen-meets-zombies conceit might not be for everyone, but it's a film that delivers exactly what it promises. You get a parade of sumptuous waistcoats and cleavage-bursting dresses, blood-soaked beheadings, surprisingly strong acting, and a comedy of manners that doesn't mind getting dirty. Most shockingly, it's downright romantic, and I'm not even prone to that sort of flimflammery. But fair enough if Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn't your cup of Earl Grey—the rest of you are going to dig it. I can also guarantee it's going to be leagues beyond an adaptation that's sure to follow, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.