Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Parent Review

The novelty of seeing Jane Austen's prim and proper characters morphing into zombie hunters quickly pales. While the Bennett sisters now have something to do, the violence introduced is vicious.

Overall C-

Jane Austen might just roll over in her grave if she could see this adaptation of her famous romance novel, Pride and Prejudice, being turned into a horror story featuring zombies.

Violence D
Sexual Content B
Profanity B+
Substance Use A-

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is rated PG-13 for zombie violence and action, and brief suggestive material

Movie Review

Seth Grahame-Smith is a writer who has discovered a moneymaking idea that we may all wish we had thought of. He takes literature that’s in the public domain or familiar characters and creates what can be best described as a Halloween mashup. He started with Dark Shadows, then moved to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Now Seth brings us Pride & Prejudice with Zombies.

It seems zombies have infested all of England and those of the living are fighting to contain the outbreak. The Bennett sisters have been sharpening their hunting skills since childhood and are just as adept at tracking down the undead as are their male cohorts. The lead of the brood, Elizabeth, played by Lily James, is a keen warrior who doesn’t hesitate to despatch anyone who reeks of zombie flesh. And just as Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln spent his off time seeking vampires, now the unlikable Mr. Darcy, played by Sam Riley, is an expert zombie detective.

Admittedly, Pride and Prejudice has never been my cup of tea. And while the addition of angry zombies does, at the very least, give the Bennett women something to do aside from sitting around their drawing room and gossiping, it also introduces to this rather tedious tale a lot of vicious violence. Zombies, like space aliens, Nazis, or many other movie antagonists, are disposable characters that justify massive bloody mayhem in an all out effort to achieve their extinction. Many fighting scenes depict these ghoulish humans being decapitated, impaled or even having their heads shot off their bodies. In fact, had this movie contained any significant sexual content or profanity, it would likely have moved it to a restricted rating in the US.

Coming to theaters at a time of year when horror movies rule the dark days of January and romance begins to blossom in time for Valentines’ Day, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a marketing checkmate. However, the novelty of seeing Jane Austen’s prim and proper characters morphing into zombie hunters quickly pales. And the story just trades those boring conversations for equally mundane and gory battle scenes.

Directed by Burr Steers. Starring Lily James, Lena Headey, Matt Smith. Running time: 108 minutes. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies here.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Parents Guide

Is this movie intended to “shock” you? How does it do that? What contrasts does it take advantage of to create this effect?

For a movie to be scary, we must relate the make-belief onscreen to something in reality. While we know zombies are not real, what might they represent in reality? Would our reactions parallel those of the characters in this film? What alternatives are available when dealing with people who are different from our own beliefs and social makeup?

Zombies are “disposable” characters that give creators of movies free reign to eliminate them as they please. What other disposable movie characters can you think of? Are stories with these clearly formed antagonists beneficial or harmful to audiences? Do they allow us to work out our violent thoughts in productive ways, or just indulge our darkest fantasies?

Learn more about Jane Austen and her novel Pride and Prejudice.