It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife who can pulverize the undead with martial arts and guncraft. That’s the premise of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which turns Jane Austen’s classic courtship tale into a movie of very violent manners.
Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 parody novel, the film takes place in a Regency-era England in which the plague, besides wiping out most of the population, has had the unfortunate side effect of creating hordes of flesh-eating corpses that roam the countryside. Living in that countryside is Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James), who, along with her sisters, has been “trained for battle, not the kitchen.” The film’s very entertaining trailer adds a dash of brain splatter to the usual Austenian beats, and Sam Riley looks sufficiently brooding as the zombie-hunter version of Mr. Darcy. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is out in February.