Photo Credit: Geeky Tyrant
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, based on the book by Seth Grahame-Smith that interjects zombies into Jane Austen’s classic romance, opened on Friday, with the hope of bringing in horror fans looking for something new.
The Burr Steers directed film stars Lily James, who plays heroine Elizabeth Bennet, a master of martial arts and weaponry, and Sam Riley as the zombie-killing Mr. Darcy – a mix of, “Colin Firth, Alex from A Clockwork Orange, Sean Connery in Dr. No and the voice of James Mason,” according to the actor himself.
During a special screening of the film at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on January 24, the cast was flanked by some very creepy bodies donning gruesome makeup and period clothing to help break the world record for the most amount of zombies reading Austen’s 1813 novel at one time.
While they may have broken that bizarre record, the movie itself isn’t predicted to do nearly as well.
Screenrant.com notes that the premise of the film brings Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter to mind, which only brought in $37.5 million in 2012. To most, “the concepts are more interesting in theory than they are on the big screen,” and with negative reviews even before it was released along with better received options currently in theaters, the site says that an opening weekend of $11 million is expected, which is even lower than Vampire Hunter.
That said, Andrew Barker of Variety says that while it’s not “handsome enough to tempt substantial audiences,” it is “tolerable,” and, in fact a “moderately entertaining film.”
But The Guardian’s Jordan Hoffman disagrees. He writes, “Early in Pride and Prejudice Mr Darcy offers his opinion of Elizabeth Bennet to Mr Bingley: ‘She is tolerable.’ Would that I could say the same about this stupid film. Representing the lowest form of mashup, Burr Steers’ ridiculous adaptation is, to be fair, a fascinating example of an idiotic culture gone horribly wrong.”
“Given the low budget and the force-fed nature of the gimmick, the third act, which splits into an original story for long sequences, is a bore,” he concludes.
Stephen Whitty of the New York Daily News calls it “brainless.” He writes, “hungry monsters in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are looking for nice big brains,” adding, “Well, they won’t find any here.”
If you’re a fan of Grahame-Smith’s New York Times bestseller, you may be excited to see the book come to life, but you’re unlikely to get what you came for.