Zombie Month Part III: La Horde

La Horde directed by Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher

Speed: human speed, but considerably slower reactions given their poor fighting prowess.

Intelligence: very low, little ability to dodge attacks, sneak, etc.

Behavior: hoarding “food” in cellars for later consumption. Aggressively attack on sight. They snarl continuously. Attack all animals.

Longevity: unknown but extremely resilient to all attacks except headshots.

Infection: bite. Incubation is a handful of hours. Location of attack doesn’t seem to affect onset.  Dead bodies spontaneously reanimate even if killed via other means.

How to kill: Headshot, extraordinary amounts of gunfire elsewhere.

La Horde is a French zombie film based around a group of hardened criminals and police banding together in order to survive going down an apartment building and escaping the ensuing zombie epidemic. The police entered the apartment in order to exact revenge for the criminals killing one of their friends, but when the jig is up they’re quickly overwhelmed. Soon after the zombies begin to rise, kill off most of the criminals and the two groups join forces to escape the complex.

I didn’t like the film very much. There are some genuinely baffling subplots that go nowhere. One of the policeman, a large, bearded guy with a cross tattooed on his arm is shown in the start of the film in  a dump site with some bodies strewn around. Nothing later explains what is happening here, and despite them making the character out to be some badass ubercop, he’s quickly killed off and not spoken about afterwards. The writers obviously thought him important however, given that his prominent tattoo is shown near the end of the film in a basement used as a stockroom for the zombies. The zombie rape (yes you read it) scene is both off-putting and is abruptly cut short (thankfully) without any sort of development. Characters make bizarre decisions. The policewoman escapes by the fact that the last surviving criminal has the strength to force open a door, yet immediately in freedom she kills him- she is left alone, in a town with thousands of undead and probably more difficult to open doors. This character is pregnant, and ruthlessly concerned for her child- if that is the case, why did she agree to storm a heavily armed criminal hideout? The hero manages to fight off a good hundred or so zombies before succumbing despite one undead owning half the cast. No one figures out the headshot rule even when they fell multiple attackers via that method. There are countless other examples.

Not all of it is bad. The zombies are both terrifying and behave like good zombies should. The shots showing the city they live in quickly dissolving into chaos are nice and the fight scenes are competently executed. That’s a good thing given that roughly three thirds of the film is flat out slaughter.The build up for the zombies is pretty decent too.

In summary, if you like your zombie films dumb and ultra violent, you can probably get enjoyment out of this. However La Horde doesn’t break any new ground, or give us sensible characters to care about.

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~ by freeze43 on May 5, 2012.

One Response to “Zombie Month Part III: La Horde”

  1. I didn’t like the film very much. There are some genuinely baffling subplots that go nowhere. […] Nothing later explains what is happening […] [the] scene is both off-putting and is abruptly cut short (thankfully) without any sort of development. Characters make bizarre decisions. […] dumb and ultra violent […] doesn’t break any new ground, or give us sensible characters to care about.

    French cinema in a nutshell.

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