I don't know about you, but there's something deeply unsettling about watching a rom-com on a date. For starters, if your date happens to be a dude, then chances are he's going to be complaining most of the way through it anyway. If your date happens to be a lady, then it still sucks, because there's so few rom-coms with strong female characters or even a lesbian romance at the center of the story. For me, it's horror movies all the way for dates. After all, there's nothing more unifying than howling with laughter at bad death scenes, shuddering in disgust at gross gore, or suffering the humiliating indignity of falling victim to a cheap jump scare. So, that in mind, I welcome this brand new Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trailer, (a zom-rom-com if you will), with open arms, because it's sort of proof that it is the perfect date movie. Hello, lover.
Taking the central story of Jane Austen's classic novel — seeped as it was with the tangled politics of complicated relationships within different social classes — and combining it with the genius threat of a zombie infestation following the black death, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies sounded a little contrived on paper — but to hell with it, they've convinced me. This film is going to be date gold.
Judging from the new trailer, which has just been unleashed like a gory deadite from it's grave, the film promises romance as a mere subplot to some fiercely kickass women all too ready to strap blades under their petticoats and enter a war against the undead. With some spectacular quotes spoken by the battle waging femmes such as "I've been training for this my whole life," and "I will never relinquish my sword for a ring," this film feels ripe full of female characters ready to not only fight zombies, but also to fight beyond tired stereotypes of women only wanting to become wives or give up their careers for a relationship.
That, my friends, is the kind of date movie that I want to see with my other half. It has the period dreaminess of classic winsome literature, the enigmatic captivation of romance, and most importantly, the ferocious threat of a pack of flesh-eating dead folk.
And personally, I'm not a massive fan of period dramas, neither have I ever been able to get into a single book of Jane Austen's literary library — so the zombie aspect definitely tricked me into even giving the trailer a chance — but I'm glad that I did. Because this movie looks like a feminist goldmine that I really hope isn't going to disappoint.
Whilst horror movies can be a fantastic place for complex or strong female characters to really thrive (look at The Descent, Alien or, more recently, It Follows), it can also make for a treacherous viewing experience as a feminist when female characters are horrendously exploited, forced to suffer sexualized violence, or are there purely to strip off before their inevitable naked death scene.
So, whilst horror movies can make for fantastic date movies, they can also completely ruin a date if you happen to start rolling your eyes and loudly complaining in objection to how women are being represented in it. That's why Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is clearly so special.
It's so nice to watch a horror film with someone you dig and cheer a woman (or packs of women!) on rather than feeling obliterated by how they're represented. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies promises the amazing prospect of a feminist, horror packed romance, the likes of which are perfect for leaving you tough, energized and empowered. That kind of magic is cinematic Viagra for women, make no mistake.
As such, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is ticking every conceivable box. Still not convinced? It's release date is set as Feb. 15, 2016. So, you know, do all of your legit romancing with your fancy dinners and candelit boudoir seductions on Valentine's Day before it, but let your hair down a little the very next day and indulge in some super silly, period drama-horror fun with your bae of choice. This film is ready for some true romance (and true combat) to go down.
Images: Screen Gems; MovieClipsTrailers/YouTube (3)