The Aisle Steat - Movie Reviews by Mike McGranaghan
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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan


The Horde

As much as I love zombie movies, it's a tough genre to bring anything new to. This is not to say that freshness can't be achieved, but rather to point out that the basic requirements of the zombie genre can be somewhat restrictive. You can't do as much with them as you can with, say, vampires. Watching the French film The Horde, which is available on demand via IFC Midnight, I felt an undeniable case of been-there/done-that. It's not a bad movie, just one that doesn't offer anything new.

Set in a pseudo-apocalyptic future where a virus yadda yadda yadda, the premise involves a bunch of crooked cops who enter a rundown high-rise to get revenge upon a group of drug dealers who killed one of their partners. Just as the confrontation gets tense, infected zombies break loose and surround the building. The cops and the dealers have to make a tentative truce to work together in order to get past the zombies and to a safe location.

Aaaaaaand, there's your crippling plot hole right there. Why would the dealers make such an agreement, knowing the cops would kill them the second the zombies were gone?

Anyway, The Horde certainly looks good. It's excessively gory, claustrophobic, and possessing of an effectively grimy visual style. The performances are intense. The scenes of zombies munching on humans are sick (which is a compliment in such a film). The climactic battle is the best part. There's a great sequence where one of the cops stands on top of a car while hundreds of zombies surround him, their decaying hands reaching for him in unison the way music fans pump their fists at a rock concert. I wish there'd been more moments like this.

Alas, there are not. Instead, we get the usual stuff. Someone gets bitten and the others have to decide whether to kill him now or watch him turn. Characters get picked off one by one. Oozing creatures limp toward their human prey. You get the picture.

As someone who rarely misses a zombie picture, I'm glad I saw The Horde, but I can't quite recommend it unless you (like me) just kind of instinctively want to see any new movie about zombies that comes down the pike. You haven't seen this one before, but you have, and you've seen it better.

( out of four)

The Horde is unrated but contains some strong violence/gore and language. The running time is 1 hour and 35 minutes.