We horror fans are in the mist of a worldwide condition known as Zombie Fatigue. Symptoms: excessive yawning and full-body lethargy when watching yet another saga of the flesh-eating undead. Unless a film uses zombiism to explore something deeper (a la Deadgirl) or simply nails a good old cannibal feast out of the park, what’s the point?
France’s The Horde doesn’t revolutionize that oh-so-potent subgenre of horror, but it sure does give you 90 minutes of pretty exciting zombie action. Is that enough?
Quick Plot: A group of police officers decide to take their own vengeance on a pair of Nigerian gangsters hiding out in the projects. Storming the castle fails miserably, resulting in a few deaths and, more importantly, the discovery that the dead are waking up with speedy legs and carnivorous appetites.
It’s zombies! It’s a siege! It’s a combination of what’s worked in a bunch of other horror films stuffed inside this one, and you know what? I dug it.
The bad guys are interesting, with their own untold history that makes all their brotherly interactions fairly loaded. Though she’s not particularly likable, the female lead packs some excellent moxie as a woman with one mission and plenty of punches. The third act addition of a high energy, zombie slaying, racial epithet spewing tenant offers an enjoyable light touch (especially when he keeps referring to the greasy ponytailed bad guy as a carny, just cause), and most importantly, each character’s demise (those who have one; no spoilers here) is given its proper due by either being brutal, heroic, surprising, or sad.
I realize that’s an incredibly fast and not very informative recap, but there’s not too much point in digging any deeper. The Horde is exciting for its running time, and then it’s over. It’s far better made than the majority of modern zombie cinema, and for a violent, funny, and sometimes scary 90 minutes, it’s more than suitable. And then it’s over.
The introduction of the first zombie, his face masked in a black plastic bag, is, what the French call, ‘le badass’
Similarly, most of the human-hand-to-zombie-hand combat scenes are genuinely exciting. No one goes down easy, and watching it unroll is worth a handful of popcorn each time
The movie is a perfectly suitable mashup of zombies and siege. That it does little of anything original is mildly disappointing if your expectations are in that realm
Surprising to me, the French do indeed use the verb ‘French’ to mean what we Americans think of it as. Or at least, that’s what the subtitles said
If you use your rifle to secure every door you close behind you, you will eventually run out of rifles
The French have very hard heads. How else to explain the multiple cranium butts that never seem to phase our fierce zombie fighters?
Carnies ain’t so down and hip with the concept of having their leg amputated
Now streaming on Netflix, The Horde is an enjoyable watch when you’re looking for good horror action. There’s no boundary pushing and in time, it will probably blend together with a lot of movies with similar styles, but that doesn’t necessarily take anything away from it. It’s a perfectly fine action horror film that won’t bring about world peace, but will keep you on edge.