Pride and Prejudice and Zombies review – horror hybrid lacks bite

Austen and the undead fail to raise laughs or shocks in a misfiring mashup

A damp-squib reception for Timur Bekmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in 2012 seemed at one point to have driven a stake through the heart of this long-gestating project. Now it finally arrives, helmed by Igby Goes Down director Burr Steers, who also wrote the screenplay from Al:vh author Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 bestseller. Sadly, Steers has solved few of the problems that have long made this mashup movie such a tricky balancing act. The 19th-century narrative imagines Britain as a walking graveyard and gives us combat-trained Bennet sisters with daggers in their garters who must navigate the treacherous waters of marriage proposals and costume balls while dispatching walking (and, irksomely, talking) corpses. Cinderella-star Lily James is well cast as the spirited Elizabeth, Sam Riley brings a touch of dourness to the role of Mr Darcy, Sally Phillips
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