Notable Cast: Eriq Ebouaney, Aurelien Recoing, Claude Perron
Review: Yay! More foreign zombie movies! Depending on who you are, that statement can either be positive or negative. For me? Bring em’ on. I love the chance to watch overseas attempts at the zombie genre and how they compare to ours. Spain has one of my favorite franchises to date in [REC], and now the French have entered the race with The Horde (or La Horde as my and my friends comically refer to it as). But how did it stack up? Nowhere near [REC]. Now I see why I’ve never really heard about the French horror scene. What sounded good on paper really turned out to be just another zombie flick, palatable for one watch. It ultimately fails at bring anything new or interesting to the genre, and really misses out on the chance to be a great cult film.
Best part about zombie movies? There’s no real plot you have to explain! What do we have here. OK. A group of cops seek revenge for the death of one of their partners by infiltrating an apartment building basically inhabited by criminals. When in, they get jumped by the criminals who are alerted to their presence and then taken hostage. With the situation looking grim, both groups become threatened by a common problem out of nowhere…zombies! So lets recap, a group of cops and criminals are trapped at the top of an apartment building now being infested with zombies. With no explanation. Oh well, I’ll take it. So now the once enemies are forced to band together to fight their way out of the tower, because it’s so much safer on the ground with the zombies, right? Right. Group of people in tower, zombies on the ground, they have to fight their way out. Got it.
Oh yea, you guy’s will definitely make it out alive….LOL
I will give The Horde some credit because they don’t waste any time jumping into the action. When the movie starts we spend a few minutes at the funeral of the deceased cop, and the next minute were watching the cops storming the building. Then only a few short minutes after that, we get our first zombie sighting. Touche guys, you really know how not to waste time. But as the film rolls on, this becomes less about simplicity and more about wanting to be fed a little information. I mean, why the hell is this happening anyway? Zombies just kinda show up. And no one questions it. They just take it in stride. Uhh, is anyone going to wonder how they got there or why they’re trying to eat everyone? No? Shoot first ask questions later? Makes sense. The characters just play it a little too cool to feel the real fear of the film. This actually deteriorates the atmosphere and really doesn’t make me care about a single character. All the characters just acted like a bunch of macho hard asses the whole time and didn’t seem to be bothered by what could have been the apocalypse. Everything they did was over dramatized by scrunched angry faces and lots of yelling, especially Perron’s character. She is the only female and her whole agenda is herself. She doesn’t give a shit about anything. She kills who she has to and does nothing for the group unless it helps herself. Just a completely de-humanized character I felt nothing but annoyance for. At least I could see the criminals acting like that. But not to have a single character worth relating to? That’s some major points off.
The predictability factor is also through the roof. Ugh, I could have written this movie in my sleep. When I check out a new zombie film I’m always looking for something new and interesting. Don’t bore me with the same formula used over and over again. Make the zombies do something crazy, or have some creative killing; just give me something to stand out in my mind that makes your film memorable. [REC] for example uses the first person point of view perfectly. Zombieland was able to mix comedy and zombies perfectly along with creative deaths. Shaun of the Dead was able to mix zombies with comedy AND romance. Those films will always stand out in my mind for those particular reasons. The Horde has a group of survivors that have to fight out of some situation involving zombies using weapons. Ok…what else? “Well, one gets bit and he convinces them hes alright! That’s a twist right?” Try again. “We’ve got a crazy old man character who enjoys killing zombies a little too much! That’s crazy right?” Silence. “Ok, how bout one of the survivors sacrificing himself for the rest of the group because he’s bit!” Yea, you get my point. Expect nothing innovative or genre busting from The Horde.
What about things that The Horde did right? Well, the movie flies by and will be over as soon as it begins. It’s short run time feels even shorter as the events are going down on-screen with an incredibly fast pace. I also did manage to like when one of the characters stays behind to distract the zombies as his friends run away. He’s enough of a man to realize what happens when you’re bit and goes out swinging like a champ. More than I can say for the rest of the cast.
Am I being a little too hard on The Horde? It’s possible, because by no means is it unwatchable. If you’re happy with the standard zombie lore, this movie is probably right up your alley. I’m just sick of seeing the same premise used over and over again. For every [REC] I find I have to sit through 10 movies that could all have interchangeable casts and locations. Challenge me! Take me somewhere I never thought the genre can go! Make your style stand out in my mind that gives you a competitive advantage over other zombie movies! Well, The Horde does nothing in that respect and will just leave you wanting more. Again, if you just want to watch zombie chaos, you can do worse. If you agree with anything I’ve said though, don’t blame me when The Horde barely claws its way right below your expectations.
Final Rating: 5.5 horribly dubbed voices out of 10