You might remember how fond I was of Seth Grahame Smith’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Even before this one came out, Smith wrote another interesting book bringing Vampires to a familiar story. It took me forever to finally check it out, but I finally made it! So here are my thoughts on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (and its adaptation)!
Those of you who ever about a little story called Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen already know what this is about. Seth Grahame Smith actually took this exact story and simply added some zombies!
So in 19th century England, the Bennet sister now struggle not only with finding suitable husbands but also with fighting a zombie plague!
Book vs. Movie:
So, as usual I’ll begin with the novel. First of all, I have a confession to make: I don’t like Jane Austen. I know her works are considered absolute classics but I just never got into it. That means when I started with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies I had my hopes up, that Smith would make the story his own and only loosely pick the original plot up.
However, it turned out, that he actually took Pride and Prejudice almost word by word and simple put the word zombie in here and there. The edition I read promised even 30 % more zombies but even that left me disappointed. Throughout the entire novel the zombies remained but a little side note, simply something annoying. Instead of “She encountered a zombie and killed it” he might have written “She stepped in some mud and cleaned her shoe”. That left me with a rather uninspired and unoriginal novel.
In 2016 the novel was turned into a film, but as far as I know it was considered a failure at the box office. So I already lowered hopes before checking it out. However, in contrary to the book, I ended up pleasantly surprised with this one. While the zombie thing was a mere side note, they made some substantial plot changes that gave it more room and actually made some stuff more credible that annoyed me about the original novel. I am also eternally grateful that the talk about marriage was reduced to a minimum for the adaptation. I swear I was about to throw the book against the wall about 100 times because of that.
Another point I enjoyed about the film was the little intro that actually explained the zombie thing. In the novel it simply was a given thing.
But here’s what I liked best about the movie: Matt Smith! I was pretty surprised to find out that he’s in the cast as he looks nothing like what his character was described like. However, he was so hilarious! He made me laugh with basically every sentence he uttered, thus being far more enjoyable than his character in the novel. In general the actors made the characters appear fresher and more palpable. I especially like Lena Heady as she was precisely what I imaged (although her character was described differently in the novel, it never really fitted)
Summing up I can say that although Pride and Prejudice and Zombies may not be the best movie out there, it is far better than the novel. A funny, fast paced flick that is most definitely worth watching!
Did you read the book? Watch the film? Let me know what you think in the comments!