Directors: Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher
Over the last few years the zombie movie has become a genre in its own right, with a new addition seemingly every month. Some are pure brainless fun. Some, as with Romero’s collection, are attempts at social commentary. Then there are some, like this French offering, which attempt a little of both. Written and directed by Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher, La Horde does get its priorities right; fun first, message second. There are occasional nods to the growing poverty in France, life in the slums and even abuses in Nigeria. However, it’s not long before we’re back to the simple pleasures we came here for; busting zombie heads. This is where La Horde really delivers the goods.
Set entirely in a dilapidated high-rise building, a group of cops and the criminal gang they have come to apprehend are forced to work together when the building is besieged by hundreds of crazed zombies. No explanation is given as to why most of the population suddenly become flesh-eating crazies or why they all seem to converge on this building, but once it all kicks off you really don’t care to examine loose threads. La Horde is excessively violent, fast-paced and very entertaining. At times it’s a little like watching a video game; you do expect a score to appear in the corner of the screen as more and more zombies are dispatched with a variety of weapons, but the excesses are tempered by excellent performances from the cast, including Claude Perron, who may be the toughest woman this side of Sigourney Weaver.
There’s little that is original about La Horde, so don’t go in expecting any ground to be broken. Heads, yes. Ground, no. Rather, the merit is all in the execution. In a genre that perhaps has nowhere else to go, it settles on giving us an excess of what is expected.