Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
The 2014 Christmas Gift Guide
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Empire Blogs
Cannes Film Festival

Back to all blogs Comment Now

Venice 09: The Horde

Posted on Monday September 7, 2009, 09:48 by Damon Wise in Cannes Film Festival
Venice 09: The Horde

In amongst all this Venice talk I must now give a quick plug to the organisers of the excellent Frightfest, who alerted me to one of their bigger hits this year, which, being very cool people, they managed to snag ahead of its debut here. Called The Horde, it is a very bloody, very exciting and very, very entertaining French horror movie that plays as an extremely effective blend of Escape From New York and 28 Weeks Later (yes, the second, better one). It's a shame I knew a bit about it going in, since it's one of those cool pulp movies that switches tack midway through. It starts like a gritty policier, with four dirty cops attending the funeral of one of their undercover colleagues and vowing to wreak a terrible revenge on the man's gangland murderers. After a brutal interrogation scene, they trace the gang to a deserted housing estate in the north of Paris, where they don balaclavas and creep in, armed to the teeth with guns and knives. Their plan goes horribly, violently wrong, but just as the gang are about to turn the tables, something bizarre and horrific happens. Outside, there's a strange crowd gathering, and inside... well, things get gruesome.

I wasn't sure about this film for a while, because the beginning is incredibly deadpan, and the acceleration into a nightmare scenario is rather fast to say the least. But once I'd settled in, I stopped caring. When it hits its stride, The Horde is a pulse-racing and thoroughly compelling addition to a suddenly very crowded genre. There's nothing especially original about it per se; it's really just a zombie flick, and the film wilfully sticks to the usual tropes, such as the friend who's been bitten but refuses to accept his fate, and the crazy war veteran in the basement who becomes an ally. It does, though, put some interesting twists in there. The tense pairing of mortal enemies in the face of a common danger gets an extra kick because the bad guys are two Nigerian brothers, driven into crime (it is hinted) by poverty and racism. There's also a very hefty dose of kick-ass in the action scenes, which are visceral and inventive: a gangster bare-knuckle boxing against two snarling zombies looks more like something out of Bronson than Zack Snyder's Day Of The Dead.

It's not for the fainthearted – in one scene, a man's face is smashed so repeatedly into a brick wall that there's eventually no more face left to smash – but it's just enough on the right side of comic book to curry favour with a more mainstream audience and cross over to bigger audiences. Interestingly, George A Romero will be here later in the week to present his latest zombie movie Survival Of The Dead, but it'll have to be pretty good to top The Horde. The directors are Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher. Remember their names, because it looks like they're going places...

Login or register to comment.

Comments

1 artichoke
Posted on Monday September 7, 2009, 13:15
yannick dahan is also a film critic. he used to present a show about genre cinema (especially horror and action movies) and he's such a pleasure to listen to, he's so passionnate. glad to hear you liked his film, it sounds very much like his type of film.
it would be great to have a interview with the two directors on empire.

2 Agent69
Posted on Tuesday September 8, 2009, 01:12
"yes, the second, better one"
HAhahahahaha.

Sure, and pigs can fly.

Log in below, or register to post comments
Username:
Password:
Remember Me:

CATEGORIES

Empire States (440)

Under The Radar (329)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (35)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


RECENT POSTS

Cannes 2011: The Line-Up
By Damon Wise

Venice 09: Mr Nobody
By Damon Wise

Venice 09: A Single Man
By Damon Wise

Venice 09: Survival Of The Dead
By Damon Wise

Venice 09: The Men Who Stare At Goats
By Damon Wise

Venice 09: The Informant!
By Damon Wise

Venice 09: The Horde
By Damon Wise

Venice 09: Oliver Stone's South Of The Border
By Damon Wise

Venice 09: Capitalism, A Love Story
By Damon Wise

Venice 09: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
By Damon Wise


RECENT COMMENTS

Cannes 2011: The Line-Up
"I advise everyone with dress problems to look (Www Voguebuybuy Com) It has the lat"  voguebuybuy
Read comment

Cannes 2011: The line-up
"Didn't even know Drive had been adapted. Been meaning to read it for ages. Yay"  jamesjewell1983
Read comment

Cannes 2011: The line-up
"Is there a reason why these articles cannot be shared on Facebook? Is it "  rgod
Read comment

Clint Eastwood's Changeling Is The Best Of The Festival So Far
"Test on IE"  DJH17
Read comment

Clint Eastwood's Changeling Is The Best Of The Festival So Far
"Test..."  DJH17
Read comment

Venice 09: The Bad Lieutenant!
"Just watched the film and thought it was great. Did not expect that ending that made the film so muc"  Zimbo
Read comment

Venice 09: The Bad Lieutenant!
"ian happy to read that nicholas cage is back on track. he has always been one of my favourite actors"  bellaphoenix
Read comment

Venice 09: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
"sounds like david lynch has directed most of the film.......in which case it should be AMAZING....ho"  FincherFan27
Read comment

Venice 09: A Single Man
"A Single Man sounds great! Knew nothing of it until now really, aside from Tom Ford being director, "  Acho
Read comment

Venice 09: Survival Of The Dead
"Is the picture from the film, or journalists struggling to get the right festival pass in the buildi"  Acho
Read comment


POPULAR POSTS

Picture Of The Day
12 comments

Picture Of The Day
11 comments

Cannes Day Eight: Basterds!
9 comments

Clint Eastwood's Changeling Is The Best Of The Festival So Far
7 comments

Picture Of The Day
6 comments

Cannes 2008: Epilogue
5 comments

Cannes Day Five: Antichrist!
5 comments

Venice 09: The Road
5 comments

Cannes Day Two: Tetro
4 comments

Picture Of The Day
4 comments


BLOGGERS
Damon Wise (297)
Helen O'Hara (181)
James Dyer (86)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Owen Williams (21)
Phil de Semlyen (20)
Simon Braund (6)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
Ian Nathan (1)
David Parkinson (1)

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

6 issues for £20 plus free Gourmet Society Membership worth £69.95!
Get 6 months of Empire for just £20 and not only receive the world's greatest movie magazine and exclusive subscriber covers but you'll also receive up to 50% off restaurants nationwide and more with a free Gourmet Society Membership worth £64.99!Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
12 Must-Pause Moments From The Star Wars Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
What you may have missed, the 17th time around...

Watch Now: The Teaser Trailer For Star Wars: The Force Awakens Arrives
Your first glimpse of JJ Abrams' tour de Force

Director Paul King On Paddington, The BBFC And The Possibilty Of A Sequel
Exclusive: Empire sits down with the man behind the year’s nicest surprise

Empire's Jurassic World Trailer Tour
Updated: Director Colin Trevorrow guides us through the first trailer

Vote Now: The Jameson Empire Awards 2015
Tell us your favourite films and stars of the year

The Gift Guide 2014: 50 Must-Have Items This Christmas
Box sets, hardware, clothing, books and stocking fillers to buy

Empire's Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies Covers
Five armies. Five covers. The eagles, dwarves, elves, men and orcs prepare for battle in our Peter Jackon guest-edited issue

Subscribe to Empire magazine
6 issues for £20 plus free Gourmet Society Membership worth £69.95!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)