Warning: ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ involves real zombies

November 22, 2015 — by Caitlin Ju

Reporter explores Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed when I noticed a video by the name of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trailer.” Intrigued by the title, I tapped on the video, assuming it was click bait.

If the title were real, as I hoped it was, I already had a few questions: Was this video a skit based on Jane Austen’s 1813 classic “Pride and Prejudice” starring my favorite YouTubers, or was it a critique of the “zombie-like” monotony of the novel?

And no, I did not know there was an actual book called “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Seth Grahame-Smith, but I will get to that later.

As the video began, I noted the 19th-century English countryside setting and the appearance of familiar “Pride and Prejudice” characters, such as Mr. Bennet, Elizabeth and Jane Bennet. Believing that the video was not an actual trailer, I was immediately impressed by its professionalism and the well-edited shots it featured, but I was also expecting comedic YouTubers like Ryan Higa and Shane Dawson to pop up as the characters.

They didn’t. In fact, the video seemed fairly ordinary until it revealed a girl with a disfigured right half of her side with blood on her mouth from her prey. It occurred to me then that the “zombies” in the video’s title were literal … and scary.

For the duration of the trailer, I slowly convinced myself that I had not misread “Pride and Prejudice.” Apparently in “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” there is a zombie apocalypse, and  Elizabeth Bennet, her four sisters and Mr. Darcy are now all zombie-killing warriors.

The actors in the trailer, such as Lily James, whom I recognized from “Cinderella,” and Sam Riley from “Maleficent,” all seemed legitimate, and I began to believe this trailer was for a real movie. But that did not curb my confusion at how anyone could come up with such an idea Zombies plus a classic like “Pride and Prejudice”? The trailer did not share the same comedic aspect zombie apocalypse movies often involve, such as in “Zombieland” and “Warm Bodies” and instead had an overly dramatic tone that continued throughout the two-and-a-half minute trailer. Also considering the zombie blood splatter on the camera and laughably cliched slides exclaiming “For love” and “For family,” I believe my bewilderment was justified.

I satisfied my curiosity concerning the movie with a Google search, from which I found there is actually a real novel by Seth-Grahame Smith called “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” a 2009 horror parody of Jane Austen’s book. After proceeding to read “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” I noticed the majority of Austen’s wording remained. Though the zombie aspects of the parody novel seemed forced, I greatly appreciated Smith’s portrayal of Elizabeth Bennett as a strong, zombie-killing machine.There are alterations in the book, such as the character Charlotte becoming a zombie and a duel between Elizabeth Bennet and Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

That definitely explained a lot.

Now armed with the knowledge of the novel  “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” I am fully prepared to see the entire movie on Feb. 5. In fact, I’m dying to see it.

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