Can you think of a more unstable alliance during a zombie apocalypse than one between cops and cop killing criminals? I can’t think of once at the moment, but it sure is pretty fun to watch and that’s exactly what we get in THE HORDE. For me all that it took to get me to watch this was say French film and zombies in the same sentence and I was all over it. What we have here is a tense and violent zombie film along with loads of wasted bullets and faulty logic, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t enjoy the hell out of it.
A group of cops looking for vengeance against a group of gangsters organize a late night ambush. Things do not go as planned as soon they find themselves in a fight for survival as the apocalypse seems to be upon them and a horde of zombies take siege on the building they are in. The cops and gangsters must force an alliance if they plan to get out alive.
The important thing to know about this film is that despite its attempts at creating backstory and motivations, character names and emotional attachment are almost meaningless in THE HORDE. Sure we get to spend a lot of time with quite a few of them and we eventually learn the names but the best thing the film has going for it is the scenes of zombie carnage amidst the barrage of gunshots and screaming.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say THE HORDE is scary, but it is definitely tense and has burst of very graphic violence; something the French have gotten a name for. The very first zombie attack scene is incredibly brutal and actually kind of terrifying largely due to the great sound work in regards to the zombie growl mixed with the panic and chaos of the character in the room firing their weapons wildly. There’s one other scene that stands out in the film which is partially depicted on the cover and is basically the moneyshot of the film; it is also spoiled in the trailer, and easily justifies watching the film.
While the zombie mayhem is a ton of bloody fun there are few questions that go unanswered, some lapses in logic and a few too many talky scenes. The biggest unanswered question I had also lies in the first zombie attack scene; the rules of the world do not seem clearly defined as the zombie that attacks seemingly changes without a bite of any kind. The biggest lapse in logic are the character’s persistence in shooting the zombies torso even after they’ve seen it not kill them several times and have also seen shots to the head kill them instantly, the learning curve is severely flawed. Also, I’m pretty sure the two biggest budget hits were on blanks and fake blood, not that I’m complaining because it makes for lots of awesome carnage.
The sound work in the movie is also very well done; nearly every gunshot sounds explosive, every zombie growl is intimidating and all other sound effects are also effective. With all the blood flying around and gunshots ringing it’s pretty easy to forgive the shortcomings in regards to a script that at times makes absolutely no sense yet has a really good line here and there.
Horror fans aching for some gory zombie action should find a whole lot to love about THE HORDE. Hardened genre lovers won’t be fooled by the lack of logic and world building, but there’s enough blood, guts and body parts spraying at the screen to overlook the flaws. It may not be as great as other French horror films but it’s still a whole lot more fun and a better use of an hour and of half than most horror being released in the states as of late.