Director: Yannick Dahan, Benjamin Rocher (2009)
Starring: Claude Perron, Jean-Pierre Martins, Eriq Ebouaney
That's right, another French fancy. This week I has mostly been watching French movies (not even intentionally. I've just happen to keep stumbling across the stuff). This time though, zombies. Not since perhaps the original [Rec] have I had as much of a blast with a movie as I did The Horde. It's billed as being a zombie version of Die Hard. What's not to like?
After a cop suffers gangland execution at the hands of an infamous French gangster, a crack team of cops seek out retribution, tracking down the goons to a nearly deserted block of flats. Except the crack team of cops are actually a bit crap, and screw things up extraordinarily. Things go even more wrongways when a zombie apocalypse interrupts their vendettas. Can the cops and criminals band together to escape the building and survive violent zombie death? Probably not, but it's fun watching them try.
The Die Hard comparison is a good one. One of the characters even wears a vest. There's not much horror to be found in The Horde, just a steady flow of violence, gore and action. The flimsily constructed characters are fun to watch in a meathead action movie kinda way; disposable enough that there's an element of unpredictability as to who will bite it next. And there is a lot of biting in The Horde. As the title might suggest, there are plenty of zombies. There could have been more, maybe.... but then I'm greedy. The action is reminiscent of the Dawn Of The Dead remake, or [Rec] 2 on a bigger scale. A foul-mouthed script brings the wit (why does swearing seem even funnier in subtitles?) and the actors throw themselves into it with gusto. It's difficult to pick a standout performance, but Jean-Pierre Martins wins out for that awesome moustache alone.
After the likes of Shaun Of The Dead, Zombieland and the great Romero's diminishing returns, it's nice to enjoy a zombie movie not tinged with humour or irony. It might not be as scary or original as [Rec], and The Horde is as superficial as they come. But it brings thrills, action and, well, hordes of bloodthirsty zombies. Sometimes, that's all one needs.