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
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue


Back to Words From The Wise homepage

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

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.


Advertisement

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:

RECENT POSTS

London Film Festival 2014: Fury And Difret
By Phil de Semlyen

London Film Festival 2014: Mommy, Song of the Sea, A Little Chaos
By Helen O'Hara

London Film Festival: Whiplash, Son Of A Gun, Foxcatcher
By Helen O'Hara

London Film Festival 2014: Testament of Youth, Ping Pong Summer, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them
By Helen O'Hara

London Film Festival: The Duke Of Burgundy, Gente De Bien, Love Is Strange
By Helen O'Hara


RECENT COMMENTS

London Film Festival: Wild, Salvation, Leviathan
"That's interesting, because I noticed The Salvation had one of the buzziest audience reactions out o"  jencat
Read comment

Christoph Waltz will win an Oscar
"although its old now :(, of course he was gonna win it :), one of the many idols of why i wanna be a"  SONYA ALALIBO
Read comment

Basterds Blog
"I know this is old as hell now, but I wanted to mention on here how great this is. I've read this ar"  seventhrib
Read comment

Sundance Part Six: In The Loop
"Hello, everybody, the good shoping place, the new season approaching, click in. Let¡¯s<"  aassdd
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


POPULAR POSTS

Sundance Part Six: In The Loop
13 comments

The Times BFI London Film Festival Preview
9 comments

Basterds Blog
9 comments

Chris Hewitt Of The Year Award!!!!
7 comments

The Wrestler
6 comments



Back | Print This Page | Email This Page | Back To Top

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month 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)