Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day 15: La Horde (2009) 1h 36min

The dice apparently decided to be kind to me when I rolled the French horror film La Horde.  I can and probably will gush about this movie during the course of this post because it's a zombie film done right.  It's not perfect, but it's much better than most of the films out there attempting to cash in on the zombie craze.

I'm not going to go into deep detail because you should honestly watch this film (unless you hate subtitles... or the French).  The main plot is that a police officer was killed by a group of criminals and four other cops decide to attempt to exact revenge for his death.  This fails miserably, some are killed, and the rest are held by the criminals.

I'm avoiding saying they're a "gang" because I don't think they fall under that heading.  However, they're not quite a cartel or anything like that.  They're just a handful of bad guys with guns and drugs.

The first zombie is amazing.  A man that they killed, that had a plastic bag on his head, comes back and the bag is torn so the main thing you see is just his teeth.  In fact, this whole movie focuses a lot on the mouth and teeth with the zombies and it's a good call.  I read once in a book that zombies would be less likely to have lips over time because they're hunger and inability to feel pain would cause them they basically bite their own lips off while feeding.  It makes sense, and that concept isn't overdone here.  Not every zombie is all teeth, but this one looks fucking great.

The rest of the movie is the group working together (to a point) to try to escape the building.  That's all I'm going to say as far as plot because even though I'm reviewing movies, know that you should watch this.

There are a few gaffs here and there.  The main one being that even after the first time they do a head shot and it stops a zombie they still continue to shoot the body on other zombies.  It picks up, but not once does anyone call someone else out on not shooting the head.  There's a rail gun used at one point and in the shots the guy is just sweeping the gun back and forth but the bullet belt draped over his arm isn't moving at all.  Also a hand grenade creates some sort of flame wall filling a hallway.  That's not how grenades work.  It's little things like that where I had my immersion with the film broken.

The rest is great though.  The characters are well developed and well acted by everyone.  The use of fast 28 Days Later zombies definitely made things more tense than if they would've used slow Night of the Living Dead style.  There are interactions between the zombies which is something you don't see often.  A guy head butts a bunch of zombies which is also something you don't see often.  There is also a fantastic last stand with one of the characters on top of a car and him just wrecking zombies left and right with pistols, a machete, his body, and his death scene is an amazing wash and wave of zombies claiming him.

Also, if given the choice, I would hope to die while saying "I'll show you hardcore!" right before I jam a grenade in a zombie's mouth too.

I give La Horde 4 frag grenades out of 5:  Like I said, it's not perfect, but it is pretty fucking great.

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