French zombies in the ‘hood. A group of police officers break into the hideout of a gang of drug dealers, looking to get revenge for a cop killing. While the cops and gangsters are at each other’s throats, the city around the apartment block falls into chaos. An apocalyptic outbreak of zombie infection has trapped them all and the cops, gangsters and the few residents of the derelict building must band together to escape.
The Good: Action sequences are brutal and feature elaborate hand-to-hand combat and weapon fights.
The Bad: A bog standard zombie flick. There’s nothing new or interesting to make it stand out from others. There are a few moments when the film shows its relatively low budget, with the apocalyptic destruction of the city represented only by the reflection of flames on the windows as a character looks out to the horizon.
There are no likeable characters. Even the most honorable of the gangsters is still a drug running career murderer and the most dedicated police officer is still a loose cannon who has slaughtered criminals in the name of revenge. As the situation unfolds and more is learned about the characters they only become more deplorable.
The film features an uncomfortable zombie girl abuse scene in which the male characters half-jokingly discuss raping her. That might work if it didn’t go on so long and become an exercise in trying to disgust the audience. The same promise of rape is held over the head of the female cop early in the film as well, but the outbreak of zombies prevents the more than obvious threat.
Does it pass the Bechdel? The only sequence with more than one female character onscreen is a fight and they don’t so much converse as they grunt and swear while hitting each other with every object in the kitchen, including the refridgerator.
Would We Recommend?: Nope. Want to see a good zombie film from France? One with interesting characters and complicated situations? One that starts with the tropes of other zombie films and then builds on them and personalizes them? Go watch Mutants. (Our review here) While the combat sequences of The Horde are good there’s really no one to cheer for so we quickly lost investment in the human characters. Zombies, please feel free to eat their brains.