From executive producer Xavier Gens comes the French Zombie film, The Horde. The film’s setup is simple. Four police officers enter a crime lord controlled apartment to execute and avenge a fallen comrade. Soon after the officers enter the building the zombies lay siege to the location. Despite the standard set-up The Horde separates itself from the pack of typical zombie films being released today.
First and most notable, the film plays the ensuing events straight. Nothing is tongue in cheek, the intent is clearly to create a dark, brutal zombie flick, in this it succeeds. The movie has a gritty seventies feel to it, but the action sequences are clearly modern and at times highly inventive. A highlight is a straight-up fisticuffs throw down between a survivor and a pair of zombies. The group trying to survive the horde are at odds with one another. This has been seen before however, The Horde ups the ante. The survivors were trying to kill each other prior to the zombie onslaught. This adds an additional tension to the film, and allows for more inventive plot elements in a standard formula.
The high production values of the film are noticeable and appreciated. In a genre prone to high concepts and low budgets what appears on screen does not bare any resemblance to a low budget B feature. The actors in the film are strong adding depth to simple character types. The choreography, cinematography and direction are well constructed keeping viewers in the story.
The zombies themselves are not the shuffling creatures defined by Romero, yet the film as a whole feels vary akin to the first three films in his Dead series. (author’s note after being disappointed by Land of the Dead I stopped watching Romero’s zombie outings) The reason for reanimation is never revealed, nor is there any true reason to. In the end, The Horde is a strong effort sure to satisfy zombie fans willing to give something with subtitles a try. And for those who are not the DVD has a dubbed track.