Monday, 4 July 2011

La Horde

The basics

La Horde is a French zombie film that came out in 2009. This one was their first feature film that Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher had directed and had written as well, also including two other writers Arnaud Bordas and Stéphane Moïssakis. This film is about Revenge, being badass, zombies and working together against a common enemy.    
What is this film about?
At the start there is a funeral for a dead cop who was killed by a gangster, from this a group of cops set out on a revenge mission which leads them to a very run down tower of flats. They make their way to the top floor but end up being captured by the gangsters. Soon enough the dead begin to rise and the cops and the gangsters have to work together to try and get out of the tower alive.  
My views on it
When I come across French cinema, I don’t know why but my mind always starts to think about films such as À bout de soufflé (Breathless) and Jules et Jim (Jules and Jim). You know the kind, French new wave cinema from the 60’s that’s black and white, has jump cut editing, filmed by a hand-held camera, are really pretentious and are only watched by film students or critics. With this in mind I must say La Horde is a bit different than them (some sarcasm for you there).
As I watched this it seemed like the story line was only there so they could class this as a film and not just as a bunch of awesome zombie fight scene’s throw in together one after the other. I could just picture the writers creating the story line like this ………….
(Four writers sitting around a table drinking coffee)
Writer 1:         ok we all know how all the fight scenes are going down right?
All Writers:      yes.
Writer 1:         and we all agree that it’s going to be set in a tower of flats?
All Writers:      yes.
Writer 1:         soo…….. How do we get a lot of badass people to the top of a tower of flats?
Writer 2:         At the top of the flats can be a gangster hide out, full of gangsters.
Writer 1:         awesome that’s going in. And?
Writer 3:         cops could come to get them.
Writer 1:         There not badass enough.
(Writer 4 drinks some of his coffee)  
Writer 2:         Badass cops on a revenge mission.
Writer 1:         Great, just how do we justify zombies?
Writer 3:          Random, unexplained judgement day thing happens and zombies just turn up.
Writer 1:         Mmmmm... I don’t like it. (Pause) I love it. Let’s start filming.
Writer 4:         Can we throw in a crazy old guy with an axe?
Writer 1:         Yes, why not. Let’s do this thing.
End scene
If you haven’t guessed yet the story isn’t the reason why you would watch this film.  It is riddled with plot holes and it just there as a formality. The reason why you should watch this film is it gives you what you want to see, Gangsters working with badass cops VS a zombie horde. When I first watched this I didn’t care that the story only took five minutes to write, or that before the cops went in to the gangster’s room there was no blood anywhere and when they left there was blood on every wall in the whole building (which is strange as there was only a hand full of zombie on the top floors). There is many things wrong with this film but when you get to see a gangster blow a zombies head off with a shotgun or a female cop beat a zombie to the ground with her bare hands then drop a fridge on it, all you can think is ‘how awesome was that !’.
At the end of the day this isn’t a masterpiece of French cinema like À bout de soufflé or Jules et Jim, and it’s not going to be talked about in 50 years’ time like they are, but I would say if you’re a zombie fan, give this a watch It will not disappoint.
Some words of advice as well if you are a new comer to the world of foreign cinema or have never seen a foreign film before, this would be a good starter film. It’s easy to follow, there’s not much dialogue and there’s loads of action.      
Favourite Quote
Jimenez:   Tonight we came for a blood bath
Rating 2/5 (but if you are a zombie fan like me 4/5)


afilmaday said...

I too would give it a 4/5. That's the issue with foreign cinema; because America dominates the generic entertainment, the rest of the world have to be artsy, push the boundaries and make it unnecessarily pretentious! La Horde it a good flick, and I too would recommend this as a first foreign movie experience.

Good review.


garethb said...

Good review kev. I'll probably stick with the 2/5 and skip this film. Your reviews are getting more an more like how you would normally talk about's good.keep them coming.

LegoSteve said...

I thing I agree with your 2/5, the film has some beautiful fighting scenes, but the rest is just so disapointing. Everything about the story is lazy and poorly thought out, it honestly feels like they spent weeks choreographing the fighting and like one drunked afternoon on the story.

They deserve no better.