La Horde – Review – Frightfest 2009

La Horde – Review – Frightfest 2009

Directed by Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher and starring a bunch of French people you’ve never heard of, La Horde is a movie mash-up of cop/robber thriller and zombie survival movie.

After attending the funeral of one of their police colleagues, corrupt coppers seek out retribution on crime lord Adewale (Eriq Ebouaney) in an illegal operation in just outside of whatever French town it was.

After sneaking into the criminal’s hideout in an abandoned apartment block it all turns sour for the cops, getting captured and tortured by the gangsters before something a little bit unusual happens. Soon after one of the captives is killed, he returns to life as a ridiculously powerful zombie. After kicking their felonious asses for a bit the zombie is eventually put down and they look outside to see all hell has broken loose, with fires and zombies surrounding the complex.

With both the cops and the cons now men down and la titular hordes descending upon their tower block, good guys and bad guys have to put aside their differences to make it out of the building alive. Along the way they pick up survivors, have to deal with in-fighting and use some ridiculously awesome methods of putting down the zeds.

La Horde zombies

While Frightfest had a number of sub-titled films this one was a bit annoying, as the text was right along the bottom of the screen (indeed the descenders of the bottom line were mostly off the screen) and the stage blocked the people sitting near the front’s view; I would have rather sacrificed a couple of inches at the top to make it easier to read. The other thing of note about the subtitles is that the translations were sometimes pretty bad, nothing that stopped me understanding what was going on but it was unnatural enough that I have to point it out.

La Horde is a fairly derivative zombie movie filled with what are ultimately mediocre action scenes; don’t let the Frank West (Dead Rising) atop a car style zombie clamouring in the trailer tell you it’s amazing. The fight scenes are simply sped up footage, though used to great effect in the fight between the ladies, and the music goes all out to try and convince you that something exciting is happening when, really, it isn’t.

The zombies at least are slightly unique, in so much that a shot to the head doesn’t stop them and filling them with lead is the only sure fire way to end their un-life. This La Horde does with aplomb, with the characters getting access to some ridiculous weaponry throughout the course of their escape. Some of the more ‘heroic’ deeds that the characters pull off are completely unrealistic, but I guess that’s like complaining that the animals talk during a Disney film; it’s just a small step to extend ones state of disbelief and as the whole thing is balls-out action anyway, it’s not a problem.

The origin of the zombies is never explained nor how they became so many and widespread in such a short space of time, and especially why there’s so many of them swarming the deserted tower block so far out of town. Brief glimpses of more complete carnage are revealed from atop the building with much of the town set alight, but whether this is a local phenomenon or more global is never elaborated upon.

There’s a lot to like in La Horde, the old guy is humerous, the action fun to watch, the characters remain true throughout and, although the ending left many people cold, it was a satisfactory ending to their small piece of the tale. La Horde isn’t going to change the zombie landscape but it certainly isn’t bad.

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ZC Barry runs Zombie Command from their HQ in a safely bugged in location somewhere in the UK. Follow Zombie Command on Twitter to be kept up to date with all the latest zombie news.

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  1. […] can check out our La Horde review or if the 3D isn’t working click to get a better quality version below or check out the other […]

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