The French Mix Police, Criminals, and Zombies in 2009’s The Horde

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Fans of 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead haven’t seen it all in zombie cinema until they’ve seen The Horde. Paris is burning, chaos reigns, and the undead are everywhere. But the usual bad human behavior continues. After a policeman is brutally murdered by a criminal gang, four of his colleagues, including the dead man’s former girlfriend, plot revenge. They ambush the gang’s run-down high-rise base, but their attack goes wrong and they end up the captives of the sadistic creeps. Yet just as the unlucky four about to be executed, a horde of cannibalistic creatures breaks into the building. The criminals and the cops quickly realize they must stand together against the flesh-eating monsters if any humans are to survive. (Synopsis from www.amazon.com)

*Spoiler Alert*

The Horde, directed by Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher, is a tense cop/criminal drama with zombies thrown in to rachet up the need for a plethora of bullets and bloodshed. The cops and cop killing criminals band together to fight there way out of a rundown apartment building that is being overrun by fast moving, bloodthirsty zombies.

There are a few issues with this movie. The main thing is character development. There pretty much isn’t any at all. The film’s attempt to create backstory or motivations is pretty much a failure.  Even though the main motivation for the cops is to avenge the death of one of their own who was killed by the Nigerian-led criminals, there still wasn’t enough material included to make the viewer feel anything for the cops. Even the people living in the apartment building are so strange or twisted, there is no emotional attachment to any of them. The best thing that the movie has going for it is the zombie carnage, screaming, and multitude of bullets.

 One thing that drove me a little insane about this movie was the lack of a learning curve of  the criminals and the cops. Even after seeing the lack of effect with shooting an infected with tons of body shots and seeing the effects of a head shot, the characters continuously waste bullets by shooting the zombies in the chest and legs. This lack of logic does become pretty frustrating as you watch the same action scenes over and over, with the same type of reactions. Granted there is a scene where an inhabitant of the apartment building uses a light machine gun in a narrow hall to mow down a cluster of zombies.

The zombies are done very well. From the sound work done on the growls and the bloody, violent attacks, the effects are very convincing. These are all fast moving zombies, somewhat in the line of 28 Days Later. The main difference is that these infected only can be killed by headshots. The scene where one of the cops is standing ontop of a car in the middle of a “horde” of zombies is pretty amazing.

Overall, this is a decent movie. If you are looking for an action packed, blood-soaked, zombie spree, this is your type of movie. There are some issues with logic and character development, but this movie is a fun ride. I would rate this movie a 6/10.  

 

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