The title’s phrasing couldn’t be more apt: Seth Grahame-Smith’s mash-up doesn’t fold supernatural horror into Jane Austen’s story so much as sprinkle it on as an “oh, by the way” afterthought. Much of writer/director Burr Steers’ adaptation plays as a straightforward version of the beloved story of Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James), Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley), et. al., and a reasonably competent one, particularly with Matt Smith as a wonderfully unctuous Mr. Collins. There’s even a somewhat inspired notion behind exploring Regency-era gender roles by turning the Bennet sisters into Shaolin-trained warriors against the infectious undead. But those two elements clang off one another with almost impressive awkwardness, as though every 12 minutes or so an alarm went off indicating that it was time to pause the polite curtsies, and someone had to eat a brain now. It’s closer to almost-good than it has any right to be; if only someone had figured out that you shouldn’t remember only occasionally that Lady Catherine De Bourgh has been turned into a one-eyed ninja.
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