From the seriously lame to the laugh-out-loud, there seems no end in sight for the zombie/living dead genre. Even esteemed director Frank (The Shawshank Redemption) Darabont is getting in on the act when his The Walking Dead series hits the small screen (October 31 in the US/November on FX in the UK).
But sometimes there comes along one – like 2007’s [•REC] – that really makes you want to stay until the bitter, brutal end. And so we have The Horde, a ghoulish gallic entry that fuses the violent gangland thriller La Haine with Romero’s unbeatable Dead trilogy. And bloody hell does it work.
In a no-go northern suburb of Paris, a group of heavily-armed cops – headed by the seriously hunky Ouessem (Jean-Pierre Martins) – plan to avenge the death of a comrade by taking down a gang holed up in a condemned tower block.
But when their plans go awry, les flics are quickly taken prisoner by the gang, whose members include Nigerian brothers Adewale (Transporter 3’s Eriq Ebouaney) and Bola (hip hop artist Doudou Masta), and a bunch of psychopathic Eastern European thugs.
What starts as a bullet-ridden crime thriller soon takes a nasty twist as legions of starving zombies surround the tower block intent on breaking in to feed on its human inhabitants. What follows is an action-packed thrill of a ride as the cops and gangsters reluctantly join forces to try to escape the flesh-eating zombie horde.
With guns ablazing The Horde is a knockout. The claustrophic tower block set ups are really well thought out (just wait for Ouessem surrounded by the horde in the basement garage), the effects are genuinely gruesome, while the script is as solid as the performances. And seeing the skyline of Paris lit up by distant fires made me think of the nightmare that must be unfolding in the city’s scenic heart. Now that would make a truly terrifying sequel. Anyone game?