Review: The Horde DVD

STUDIO: IFC/MPI | DIRECTOR: Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher | CAST: Claude Peron, Eriq Ebouaney, Jean-Pierre Martins, Aurélien Recoing
RELEASE DATE: 12/21/10 | PRICE: DVD $24.98
BONUSES: featurettes, alternate opening, more
SPECS: NR | 90 min. | Action horror | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | French with English subtitles and English dubbed

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

And those zombie movies just keep on coming! The Horde is one of the latest and more notable entries in a year that has seen Romero’s Survival of the Dead, Colin, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead and, from Norway, the frozen Nazi film Dead Snow. Oh, and let’s not forget AMC’s The Walking Dead.

From France, The Horde turns on the genre blender for an enthusiastic mix of ravenous zombie bloodletting and urban crime action. The gangland element comes in the form of a group of cops ambushing a gang’s high-rise headquarters just outside of Paris. The raid goes bad, and there’s lots of shooting and nastiness, but the real problem lies outside of the building, where zombies are overrunning the city and clamoring for fresh meat. And when I say “overrun,” I mean that these zombies can move, just like the ones in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later and Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake.

Debuting writers/directors Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher personalize The Horde with some fresh tweaks: along with being fast, the undead are super-strong (enough to snap a man’s neck, which they frequently do), and they don’t mind a fist fight at feeding time — these zombies can punch and scratch and parry blows like a WWF wrestler. This offers an opportunity for some furious hand-to-hand confrontations, all of which result in serious bullets, biting and blood. And then there’s even more gunplay. It keeps coming at you … and that’s The Horde‘s appeal to hungry horror fans.

The makeup, prosthetics and squib-work are all effective, and the jittery editing delivers for maximum ferocity, all of which pushes The Horde to the front lines of the year’s undead DVD pile-up.

The disc’s special features include the inevitable featurette that looks behind the scenes at the creation of all the gore, gunshots and ghoul effects. Remember when seeing someone’s head get blown off in a movie was a real jolt? Man, it’s all over the place now — so many scenes in so many movies! Who would have ever though the images of such extreme violence to the body would be so … entertaining? Funny? Invigorating? Insert your own word…


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.