La horde

Does anyone know who can first be credited with allowing zombies to run, instead of amble slowly, yet with purpose? I’ve heard that it first shows up in Romero’s original The Crazies (even though those in the film were not technically zombies).  But I think the current trend is most attributable to Danny Boyle. That being said, just because zombies run quickly, it doesn’t mean they’re scary.  Case in point: La horde.  Even though the film won some recognition on the festival circuit (Fantasporto and Gérardmer), there’s not much we haven’t seen before.

Writers, directors Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher place their story around a group of rogue cops venturing into an abandoned apartment building to kill some Nigerian cop killers holed up in it. Once the cops are inside with the gangster, the building falls under attack by an endless mob of zombies. No one bothers explaining where the undead came from, although explosions are seen in the middle of the city from a distance.

You see what Dahan and Rocher (and two other credited scriptwriters) did? Enemies bent on killing each other forced to work together. Well, they’re supposed to any way. I suppose there’s some amount of entertainment to be had in wondering whether or not that dynamic would work out well or not. But it’s not difficult to figure out.

There’s an inconsistency throughout the film that can’t help but be noticed, and it grates on the nerves. A few of the earliest zombies encountered have supernatural power, the strength of five men, or more. Later on, some of our heros can fend off five or more of them at one time. And in the world created in La horde, it seems that as long as you’re standing on top of a car, zombies will only attack one at a time, and even then, very poorly.  Still, there was a certain assurance in some of the action sequences that gave the authentic chills of good zombie film.  These were few and far between.  Although the film is French, and filmed in French, the screener I received was dubbed in English.  This makes it difficult to comment on the quality of the dialog.  But the dubbing was nearly insufferable.  Let’s hope for any possible theatrical or DVD releases in North America, the film will be subtitled.

★★☆☆

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