It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains…
This is very definitely a case of a film doing what it says on the tin – it’s Jane Austen’s classic tale of social mobility, romance and innate Englishness with added zombies. The setting means that a lot of the tropes we’ve come to associate with zombies on the large and small screen in recent time aren’t present – for obvious reasons for many of them, but it does ensure that the scriptwriters have had to avoid excessive four-letter words!
The film takes its subject matter seriously, although Matt(hew) Smith does provide a comic relief (to the extent that he gets his own little featurette on the disc!). The action sequences are on the whole well-handled: they’re certainly different from others you may have seen, even if the novelty does wear off after a while.
And that’s probably the movie’s biggest problem for those looking for a zombie thrill to pass the time: if you’re not interested in the Pride and Prejudice part of the equation, you may find some of the interplay a little tedious… but stick with it, because there’s always another killing just around the corner!
It looks terrific – and particularly given the cast’s pedigree, you wouldn’t be surprised if the zombies were suddenly dispatched halfway through the movie and the rest returned to the elegance and gentility of Austen’s original. You may not agree with the comments on how the zombie element enhances Austen’s themes but certainly director Burt Stears and the team have done their best to fold the two together.
Verdict: Entertaining nonsense. 7/10