Film Review: The Horde (2009)

The Horde is a French zombie movie. The French clearly know how to make good horror films. With such entries into the genre such as Martyrs, Inside, and High Tension it is easy to see why a horror film from France should be taken seriously. The Horde is no exception.

The first feature film from duo directors Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher, The Horde is about a family of dirty cops who plot revenge against a group of drug dealers who have killed one of their own. They go into a slum-like apartment building where the gang of drug dealers are hiding out. The revenge plan goes awry and they end up at the mercy of the drug dealers when all of a sudden...the world is at the brink of a zombie apocalypse and the entire group must overcome their apparent differences in order to survive.

I enjoyed the lack of dwelling on all of the zombie tropes that we are already accustomed to and instead opting for a frenzied, rapid-fire delivery of action and gore right from the film's inception. Romero can't do a zombie film this good anymore. But, the French can...and that's some good news for you, my lovely horror fan.

The acting is pretty solid in this zombie-gone-eat-you-up-with-a-side-of-biscuits affair. Jean-Pierre Martins as Ouessem (French for possums) will fool you into thinking he's the hero of the film and Eriq Ebouaney as Adewale is pretty fucking solid as the bad guy you end up liking by the end. I kept rooting for the guy in the white suit to kick everyone's ass...oh, and the old guy with the fuckin' machine gun ripped from the first Predator film is all kinds of awesome. In fact everyone is pretty memorable in this fun little zombie film better than anything Romero has done in the new millenium except for Claude Perron...the chick who plays Aurore. I fucking hated her. The ending, while loyal to the plot of the film, didn't sit well with me. I did enjoy most of the characters in The Horde, as it developed them so effortlessly in such a frantic film...and to see some favorites dispatched was a bummer for me. But, I guess that's the mark of a good film...when you actually care for the characters it presents.

The look of the film is nothing short of expert quality. I love how such a low brow concept of the dead coming back to life in order to snack on your brains is treated with such respect and fine film making. The special F/X looked great, as well. Not sure what the budget was on this film, but it certainly looked good.

While the film offers quite a few jump scares, it is more of a display of relentless action and gruesome gore. It's not very cerebral in its horror delivery...which is ok. From the very first frame you feel like you want these leather-clad bad asses to fuck some zombie shit up......and they do, quite convincingly.

The Horde is an interesting cinematic experience as it doesn't offer anything particularily new in the genre...but, it blends everything so tightly and it weaves the character development as the film screams along. It's a feast for the senses and it is a welcome inclusion into the zombie genre that Romero should study...I mean...have you seen Diary of the Dead yet?? That film was a new level of suck. It was so bad I literally had to bathe in Genitrex just to get the suck off of me. I mentioned all the way up above....The Horde is a good French zombie film.

8.5 out of 10.


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