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Saturday, September 11, 2010

La Horde - movie review

Review by David Brown

La Horde is a French Zombie movie clocking in at 92 minutes. The first thing I can think of when I recall this movie is its many similarities to some great George A Romero zombie movies of the past. This movie started slowly, almost to the point that I wanted to turn it off, but with patience, I found a great movie lying before me.

La Horde follows a tale of revenge. The opening begins with a shot of a man bound and gagged dead in a ditch as another man with a cross on his arm looks on. This in my mind is a great opening shot as it truly shows us the great setup to the story. What follows is a big funeral for the fallen man during which we hear of the plot for revenge. This group of police officers is planning on going to the office building occupied by the Nigerian crime lords that killed one of their own.

This setup generally feels reused, but the setup is great. We see that once they arrive and catch up to the crime lords that the brains and flesh literally hit the fan as the zombie arrive shortly after our crew is together. This is where the similarities to many George A Romero zombie movies start to show up. In this film the main focus, at least from what I saw, was on the characters and their interactions with one another, rather than the zombies themselves. We see great interactions where alliances are forged and broken, and brothers are sometimes even divided by the stress of the situation.

The great thing about this movie is that the box art that I saw advertised lots of blood and gore, and the film certainly does not disappoint in that aspect. From the initial zombie attack to the final scenes, there is enough blood and gore to satisfy zombie fans and gore hounds alike. The zombies in the world of La Horde are unrelentingly driven by their hunger for the brains and flesh of the living. We do not get an explanation for why or how they became zombies or where the epidemic began, rather, we are simply thrown in for the ride with the characters.

I think that this is where the movie shines. We are given no more hindsight or information than the characters that we are watching. As they have trouble, we are right there for the ride with them. We see authentic zombies, save for the fact that they run with a ferocity not seen since the dawn of the dead remake. There is an older man revealed halfway through the movie that brings a quirkiness and charm to the movie that the other characters just do not show.

Some downfalls prevent this movie from being perfect. I am unsure whether it was my copy of the film or the company itself, but I found instances where major grammatical errors showed up in the subtitles along with changes to character names and many misspellings or misplaced words. This is minor; it is just an issue that is hopefully fixed in future pressings. While I did not have a problem with it, some fans will have a problem with the running zombies, as they are very unauthentic, at least in the eyes of Max Brooks or George A Romero. I also seem to get a bit annoyed when I watch a movie where the characters do not realize they are dealing with zombies, resulting in much wasted energy and ammunition.

Downfalls aside this is still a great movie, and a must watch for anybody who is a fan of classic zombie movies that put characterization and plot right alongside the gore. The movie moves quickly after a rather dull beginning and finishes on the energy of the second and third acts of the film. There is a part in the film where one of the characters is surrounded on a car by over 50 zombies. During this time, he utters the line “Eat me, you bastards” signifying his final stand against the hordes and the defensive position, he is taking in his final stand to protect the others. I would like to say that if the film could speak it would say, “Watch me, you bastards” and would be well within its right to say that. This is a finely crafted film and a must watch. Do not hesitate to pick this up, even with the small defects.


  1. Awesome review thanks!! I really want to see this one, I love character tension esp. between brothers or sisters. AND OF COURSE Zombie violence!!

  2. I recently saw this on On Demand on Comcast Cable. It was dubbed. I usually prefer subtitles but as with Let the Right One In, I hear the subtitles on this one are very imperfect and broken. My biggest beef with this movie is the wasted rounds of ammo. Have they never heard of Zombies? That aside, I thought this was an excellent movie. I agree with the review and enjoyed it. I think the next time I'm in a Hastings or Best Buy, I will be looking for this one. It needs a home on my Zombie DVD shelf.


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