THE HORDE (18): On General Release Friday 17th September
If you’re going to make yet another zombie movie, you’d better do something interesting with the material as it’s a genre that has more well worn furrows than Gordon Ramsay’s forehead. The Horde, while boasting one or two nice set pieces does nothing to elevate itself above same old zombie dross.
Four corrupt cops, upset about one of their number meeting his demise at the hand of some local crime lords, go on a quest for revenge. Invading a tower block, they confront the gang in their apartment. Unfortunately it’s at that point that the building becomes surrounded by an army of flesh-eating zombies and the two groups are forced to form an uneasy alliance to battle the approaching horde.
There’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before. In fact, the whole thing plays out a little bit like Assault On Precinct 13 which was itself inspired by Night Of The Living Dead, so it’s come full circle. It looks suitably gory – strips of flesh torn off the bones of the zombies’ victims are visceral and the apartment has a gritty disused feel that contributes to the atmosphere.
It’s let down by a complete lack of interest in any of the participants – in a horror movie, caring about the characters’ fates is crucial and in The Horde, they could all fall down a lift shaft in the first 20 minutes and it’d be hard to care. They’re also slow learners, which makes them doubly unlikable. Establishing fairly early on that shooting zombies in the head is the most effective way to kill them, they still persist in pumping round after round into the torsos of every zombie they meet and then act surprised when they get their faces eaten.
Most of the film is out of Zombie Movies For Dummies: One of them gets infected and they have to decide whether or not to kill him, characters peer round corners only to be dragged off into the dark to a series of audible munches, decomposing blood-soaked faces mash themselves up against glass.
One or two scenes stand out, but the rest is a by-the-numbers zombie flick that’s been seen in one incarnation or another dozens of times. Although probably not in French.