Sunday, November 21, 2010

more zombies than you can shake a stick at!

La Horde

In a world full of zombie movies and the increasingly awesome Walking Dead TV show, how does this French film stack up to the litany of living dead stories already available?

Well, pretty good.

A group of crooked cops break into an abandoned tenement building where, all they way upstairs, a group of Nigerian criminals are holed up. The cops move in to assassinate the criminals but fail, getting half of their crew killed and the rest captured. And just as the criminals are about to put the finishing touches on the survivors, the zombie apocalypse comes down. What follows is a series of frayed allegiances and betrayals and a whole bunch of blood.

La Horde is pretty much a zombie film stripped down to its very core: a group of survivors must fight their way free of an infested building to hopefully reach safety outside, even as the world around them falls apart. Every corner turned could be a death sentence and as they try desperately to stay alive, each step leads them into twisting passages of terror and, for some, death. There's nothing new here, nothing unique explored about the characters or the zombies, but it is a lean, mean, thrilling machine.

There are a couple of highlights that really stood out amidst the carnage: first off, the cop who gets surrounded by a horde (forgive me) of the living dead as he stands atop a car roof. He knows he's a dead man and yet he goes down fighting in the most spectacular way, first using his guns, then his machete, and finally his fists and feet. It's pretty awesome. And the second is one I don't want to spoil too much, but let's say it involves a giant machine gun and a corridor full of zombies.

If you like zombie flicks and want some good popcorn splatter, this is the movie for you. The last thirty minutes are nothing but pure terror and if that's your cup of tea, then pull up a chair and sit right down. You've just come home.