Credit: Jay Maidment

Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling mash-up novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is set in an eighteenth-century England where genteel gatherings at country houses are routinely ruined by the unwanted attentions of the walking dead. (What would the Dowager Countess of Grantham say? Something withering no doubt!) With director Burr Steers tracking Jane Austen’s original original text to a surprising degree, the film stars Lily James as a martial arts-schooled Elizabeth Bennet, Sam Riley as a zombie-hunting Colonel Darcy, and a show-stealing Matt Smith as the hilariously full-of-himself clergyman Mr. Collins. The zombies themselves, meanwhile, depart from the now well-worn playbook of Night of the Living Dead director George A. Romero; instead of automatically coming back to life as flesh-eating ghouls, they only lose their minds after tasting the brains of others. If more inventive than scary, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies breathes fresh life into the hugely popular, but now desperately predictable, undead genre. The result should appeal to Austen aficionados and horror hounds alike—which is not a sentence you get to write too often. B

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
2016 movie
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 108 minutes
  • Burr Steers