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Le Horde/The Horde

7/10

Stars: Claude Perron, Jean-Pierre Martins, Eriq Ebouaney
Aurelien Recoing, Yves Pignot, Jose Prestia

Director: Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Roche

I suppose that it was only a matter of time before the French embraced the profitable ‘attack of the killer zombies’ genre (after all, genre was their word).

The gleeful gorefest opens with a close-up of the face of a corpse and continues in much the same downbeat way as a quartet of corrupt Parisian cops break into a condemned building to avenge the murder of a fellow policeman by ruthless gangsters. One of the cops’ cheerful remarks, “Tonight we came for a bloodbath!” turns out to be a bloodily accurate prediction as the building is invaded by legions of killer cannibal zombies, forcing the Force and the hoods into an uneasy alliance in order to survive.

Auteurism is abandoned for shock effect and plentiful gory and scary action, and pretty efficiently too. While those seeking subtext can no doubt see in the invasion of the Undead an academic analogy for the actions of the anti-French, horror film buffs are smarter and will savour Daran and Rocher’s film for what it is – a surprisingly successful riff on a genre that, rather like the zombies, refuses to lie down and die. What the French will think of zombies who greedily chow down on their victims without marinading them first or adding a piquant sauce remains to be seen. The film too.

Alan Frank

France 2010. UK Distributor: Momentum. Duboicolor.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 15 Sep 2010