THE HORDE is a no holds barred blood fest of a zombie film from France. The setup is simple. Four Parisian cops raid an abandoned tower block intent on taking revenge on the gangsters who killed their comrade. But when the dead inexplicably start to rise, the two factions are forced into an uneasy truce, so they can escape the tower, and the hordes of undead.
The embittered policemen and hardcore gangsters all have a sense of nihilism that only add to the “end of days” tone. Directors Dahan and Rocher make the most of the claustrophobic situation, combining the action and horror in equal measure, managing to put on screen some of the best close quarter zombie fighting I’ve ever seen, the zombies keep coming, they keep fighting, and just when you think it’s going to stop, it keeps going some more.
I particularly liked Jo Prestia pummelling to death a pair of flesh hungry zombies. Claude Perron’s toe to toe fist fight with a zombie in an apartment kitchen, finally offing the she-zombie with a fridge and a gob of disdainful spit. There’s also a delightfully over the top Yves Pignot’s unleashing of an unrelenting burst of machine gun fire at a corridor of zombies. My favourite, Jean-Pierre Martins stranded atop an abandoned car in an underground car park, hordes clawing for his flesh, while he just keeps chopping away at them with a machete. This exact image haunts my nightmares.
It is not a perfect film, the ending is weak, there’s a disturbing undertone of misogyny running throughout. Character development plays second string to the action, but that’s nothing you wouldn’t expect from a film of this type.
At the upper end of the low budget horror genre, not for the squeamish, definitely worth seeing.
Directors: Yannick Dahan & Benjamin Rocher
Writer: Arnaud Bordas, Benjamin Rocher, Yannick Dahan & Stéphane Moïssakis
Production Year: 2009
Rating: 18 Running
Time: 90 minutes