The Horde (R18)

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Review byMatthew Turner18/09/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Enjoyably violent, fast-paced zombie thriller that delivers plenty of loud, over-the-top zombie-splatting action but is slightly let down by its failure to provide any likeable characters.

What's it all about?
Directed by Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher, The Horde stars Jean-Pierre Martins, Claude Perron, Antoine Oppenheim and Aurelien Recoing as a group of cops who plan a revenge attack on vicious gangsters the Markudi Brothers (Eriq Ebouaney and Doudou Masta) after the murder of one of their colleagues. However, after a violent shoot-out with the Markudis at their tower block hideaway, they suddenly find themselves under attack by a horde of ravenous zombies and the remaining cops and gangsters are forced to work together if they want to survive.

The Good
Ebouaney and Masta are excellent as the Markudi Brothers and there's strong support from Perron (as tough female cop Aurore, who can more than hold her own), Martins (as Oussem) and Yves Pignot as a motor-mouthed ex-soldier who has a handy cache of weapons stashed away for just such an occasion.

Dahan and Rocher orchestrate several enjoyably violent zombie-bashing scenes, particularly the first appearance of what appears to be a giant zombie on steroids, where everybody takes a very long time to learn the time-honoured lesson that they'll only die if you shoot them in the head. Other highlights include: a brilliant scene in an underground car park where one of the characters ends up on the roof of a car, repeatedly punching a horde of zombies in the face; and a prolonged sequence involving a huge machine gun and a narrow corridor full of zombies.

The Bad
To be fair to The Horde, the fact that it dispenses with things like backstory and character development in favour of jumping straight into the action is commendable. The problem is that it fails to provide any likeable characters, so you never really care who lives and who dies.

On a similar note, the film goes out of its way to make its characters as nasty as possible, such as when the ex-soldier and the scuzziest of the gangsters (Jo Prestia as Greco) capture a female zombie and consider raping her. This is entirely superfluous (we already know they're scumbags), not to mention decidedly unwise.

Worth seeing?
The Horde is an entertaining, fast-paced zombie thriller, but its failure to provide likeable characters means that it's never particularly scary, just gory and violent.

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Content updated: 22/02/2019 17:55

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