The title "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" should tell you all you need to know. Like the book it's based on, the film straddles the two. Interestingly, it may play better to fans of the former than the latter.

The title "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" should tell you all you need to know. Like the book it's based on, the film straddles the two. Interestingly, it may play better to fans of the former than the latter.

The 2009 parody novel was a bit of a sensation, as author Seth Grahame-Smith took liberal inspiration from the stodgy world of Jane Austen's novel and, well, added zombies. Early 19th century English aristocracy? Check. The undead rising? You betcha!

And if you know your Austen, you know the players. The headstrong Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James)? Still headstrong, only now she knows martial arts! The stuffy, emotionally conflicted Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley)? Still stuffy and emotionally conflicted, but now he slays the eff out of effing zombies!

The plot? It's "Pride and Prejudice." With zombies!

Director Burr Steers (who adapted the novel for the screen) has an unenviable task. The tone is a very straightforward period piece, interjected with (PG-13) zombie violence, and it's as uneven as you might expect. The actors are playing it straight, right up until the moment they are slaying zombies. Then we're back in Austen-land.

The result may not play as much like a comedy as you expect, and that's kind of the point. There are some really rough spots - the third act action is slapdash and terribly rushed and edited - but when it works, it works.

The zombie crowd may be bummed by all the talking and prancing about. The Austen crowd is, well, not typically into zombies. But if you're in the sweet spot in the middle, it's oddly moving. And peppered with zombies!