France has received something of a resurgence as far as horror films are concerned. Granted, France is no stranger when it comes to the genre, with the likes of "Les Diaboliques", "Eyes Without a Face" and the films of Jean Rollin, but it was "The Brotherhood of the Wolf" and Alexandre Aja's slasher movie "High Tension" that got the ball rolling again. With that, movies like "Martyrs", "Inside" and even micro-budgeted oddities like "Resonnances" have entered the markets. Well, it was only a matter of time until the French gave the world a new entry into the more modern zombie genre with Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher's "The Horde."
After a college is brutally slain, a rogue cop decides it's time to raid the high rise operations base of Nigerian gangster Adewale (Eriq Ebouaney.) However, things take a turn for the worst when the dead begin to rise, so the cops and the gangsters must band together to survive. Oh, and then there's Adewale's brother Bola (Doudou Masta) and crazy old war vet René (Yves Pignot) to look out for.
Clearly inspired by the likes of Zack Snyder's impressive 2004 remake of "Dawn of the Dead" (you get running zombies) and video games like "Dead Rising", "The Horde" clearly wants to be a fun filled roller coaster ride. Interestingly, much of what doesn't revolve around the sprinting dead is what makes this interesting. The performances here are all pretty good, with Ebouaney and Masta doing great work as brothers who seem to be at a moral crossroads, and Jean-Pierre Martins coming off as respectable as the cop who tries to be a voice of reason. However, it's Pignot who steals the show as René. Clearly having the time of his life, the actor is a total blast as a clearly unhinged geezer who may be the toughest man there.
However, as I said, much of what happens without the zombies is what makes it interesting. Okay, the final 20-15 minutes manage to be pretty entertaining as far as zombie action is concerned, but much of what occurs with the ravenous dead feels a bit too paint by the numbers. Throughout each scene of zombies biting and consuming human flesh and people fending them off, I just couldn't help but think to myself "Yeah, this is a zombie movie." To be fair, it's not a bad zombie movie. Hell, it's a decent time waster. It's just that there's a sense of familiarity throughout it all, and it made me think "Hey, I've seen this before."
As I said, "The Horde" isn't a bad movie, and makes for a decent enough time waster of a zombie movie. However, it's nothing particularly original, and it could have been a bit more engaging.