STARRING: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Charles Dance
Austen apocalypse. Unleashing the living dead on Regency England and Jane Austen’s beloved characters is a joke that should be frightfully witty.
And it is. But writer-director Burr Steers’ decision to play it straight actually results in a surprisingly good adaptation of Austen’s novel rather than the raucous zom-com the title promises. Set in an alternate England in the grip of a zombie apocalypse, the Bennet sisters are martial arts maidens packing daggers beneath their corsets, but still in the mood for marriage. The casting is dead-on: Downton Abbey’s Lily James and Sam Riley make a fine Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy; former Doctor Who Matt Smith hams it up as the bumbling Parson Collins; and Game of Thrones’ Lena Heady channels Cersei Lannister as Lady Catherine de Bourgh, a formidable, eye-patched zombie slayer.