THE HORDE, the 2009 French zombie-movie-in-the-guise-of-an-action-flick (or maybe it's the other way around) had appeared a few years ago, it would have created a very big stir. As it is, the film is surprisingly watchable and often a lot of fun -- if you've a taste for zombie mayhem. It's the first film among many in this need-of-new-blood genre that follows, nearly to the letter, the rules of some of the best action flicks (The Nest, for one). Consequently, action trumps everything and the film moves speedily (& gorily) along.
Mutants to the would-be franchise of REC and its sequel -- that, as good in some ways as is The Horde, more than a whiff of been-there/seen-that still clings (with teeth, at left) to the goings-on. For first-tier zombies, you must go back to films as different as the 1943 I Walked With a Zombie (from Lewton and Tourneur), Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead and Robin Campillo's strikingly original, socio-political-economic They Came Back, from 2004.
Eric Ebouaney (shown at right and so good in last year's Disgrace and 35 Shots of Rum); the beefy, sexy
Jean-Pierre Martins; the necessary female Claude Perron (who, though rail-thin, seems to have the strength of ten men); and Yves Pignot, below, who is introduced halfway along and adds more fun and zest to the proceedings.
I should also say a word or two about the sound design on this movie. It's terrifically chilling and effective: You can savor every last whomp, smash, crunch and slurp.
IFC's Midnight "On-Demand" series, The Horde should prove fine, dumb fun for zombie aficionados everywhere. Click here to learn how to get that fun.