A tight-knit group of cops head out after their comrade’s funeral to serve up a little “justice” to the dope smuggling gang responsible but their payback is abruptly cut short when both cops and crooks are confronted and attacked by snarling, ravenous zombies! After taking heavy casualties on both sides, a tenuous truce is struck and a plan is set in motion; fight their way to the elevator, climb down to the first floor and fight their way out of the building. Even the best laid plans, or in this case half-assed plans, can go south though and the survivor count begins plummeting as zombies and their own stupidity gets the best of them. Can the remainder of the cops and robbers make it out of the building to safety and what lies in wait outside the doors of the crumbling tenement?
We know the French like fast-paced action and bloody violence so La Horde’s penchant for both didn’t come as any surprise to me, in fact I welcomed it. When you decide to bring both crime cinema and zombies together, there had better be grit and gore. Directors Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher successfully execute both separately but, in my opinion, fail to adequately blend the two into one cohesive film. For me they made a startlingly effective crime film and a romping good zombie gorefest but neither seemed to gel together, I often felt as though I were watching two different films, like a fan mash-up. The zombies, at times, felt out of place.
La Horde isn’t a failure by any means folks, the acting was solid, the blood ran freely, there was brilliant gore gags and the zombies (the fast variety) looked wonderful but there were small issues here and there, I’m sure due to budgetary constraints, that did catch my attention. For instance, the CG blood spatter and muzzle flashes were a bit obvious and a few action sequences were noticeably sped up in post to boost the action. While these may seem like insignificant gripes (and they are), they still ended up bothering me a bit. Nothing that ruined my enjoyment of this film though.
Depending on what kind of a genre fan you are you’re either going to find this sorely lacking in plot/story or you’re going to love it because nobody is remotely likable, the line between the bad guys and good guys is occasionally blurred, and there’s no explanation for the outbreak, it just…is. If you enjoy films that deal in the “here and now” of survival horror and avoid hand-holding and useless exposition, La Horde will be a treat. It’s got everything an action fan and zombie addict could ask for and more. The finale is incredibly fucked up, leaving things open for a sequel if the filmmakers decide to continue exploring the concept, so be prepared to be entertained. I’d definitely recommend checking this out but be sure to rent first.