The Horde (La Horde) (2009)

9rwo01jbv7o7yd931x8zIt’s cops and robbers meets zombies in Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher’s French zombie spectacular entitled “La Horde.” One of the main things I love about today’s zombie films is that we don’t often go too deep in to what’s causing a zombie apocalypse, nor do we ever find the characters questioning what is causing this mayhem. We just know their asses are about to be chomped on and they have to move quick. From “Dead Set” to “Rammbock” right down to “The Walking Dead,” not much is made of what is the cause of the apocalypse so much as is how to work around it. “La Horde” is one of the many zombie flicks that just doesn’t understand a good zombie movie has to be about the people in and around it and less about the zombies.

Here the zombies take center stage as we’re forced to endure one dimensional criminals and cops fighting among the hordes of the undead who have taken over France and are intent on chomping down on anything with a pulse. That’s one of the primary caveats to “La Horde.” You can never feel much empathy for anyone here because they’re all so one dimensional and over the top. But that doesn’t detract much from the enjoyment factor of the fast paced zombie romp that pictures a society that has once again fallen under the tooth and claw of the walking dead. While the city is falling under siege, two groups of cops and gangsters have waged war on one another in an abandoned high rise and do battle. Little do they know outside their doors the walking dead have gathered and they have to team up and take them on if they want to see daylight.

“La Horde” isn’t filled with easy answers as most of the group finds it impossible to work with one another, even after a violent confrontation renders a few of the police officers dead, thus the tension is thick and the zombies have instant leverage against the uneasy pact made. Dahan and Rocher direct with a frantic pacing that makes “La Horde” impossible to follow at times, but it’s a surefire cure for boredom as the plot is slim and the violence is at an all time high. Necks are chomped on, bodies pile up, and the zombies all look menacing as they gather around the high rise prepared to feast on whatever crosses their paths. Again, there’s only hints as to what causes the zombie apocalypse and that’s okay. The movie doesn’t have to screech to a halt to explain and over indulge us in details, it merely gets to the point of survival first, explanations later.

“La Horde” thankfully knows where its audience lies and its sole intent is to bring us as much gore and grue as possible while delivering on the action set pieces, and both counts are thankfully plentiful, which is why “La Horde” is one of the more memorable zombie romps I’ve seen in the past few years. It’s an action horror film with its head in the right place, and I loved it for that. For folks who can appreciate the modern take on the zombie culture, “La Horde” is an entertaining action horror film with thrills, chills, and gut munching that will whet the appetites of anyone looking for a good time. While it’s no masterpiece, it’s filled with tension and terror and a solid execution that will keep it on the good side of zombie enthusiasts all the way through.