THE REEL BINGE with Lee Ostler: LA HORDE (a.k.a. THE HORDE) 2009

Director: Yannick Dahan, Benjamin Rocher

Crooked cops and drug dealers team up to fight Zombies floor-by-floor in a housing estate, doing a bunch cocaine along the way. If I were to tell you there’s a movie like that, would that be something you would be interested in? la-horde-posterWell it exists, and it’s even better than it sounds. La Horde” (2009) is a French movie. Do yourself a favor and get the easy to find, dubbed version. No time to read while watching this piece of celluloid candy.  In an endless ocean of shitty Zombie flicks, “La Horde” (2010) really stands out from the pack. Now, if you’re so inclined, you could pick apart this film intellectually. There are strong analogies to be made concerning the alienating,immigrant experience in Paris and it’s increasingly violent consequences (hate crimes, riots, cartoonists being slaughtered by ignorant monsters etc…). I’d prefer to keep this shit light.
The film begins with a group of Parisian police deciding to take revenge upon a local drug gang for killing their partner. His widow has a great, little piece of dialogue at the beginning. They take the law into their own hands and invade the gang’s stronghold located in one of the increasingly infamous housing estates that litter the outskirts of Paris. I’m already hooked at this point. Shit gets real and then out of nowhere, a Zombie apocalypse interrupts their dispute. Quickly realizing that they need each La_Hordeother, the two sides have to team up to make it out alive. They also do a bunch of drugs. Descending floor by floor, they take on the horde and each other. For any of you lucky enough to be familiar with “The Raid: Redemption” (2011), or the brilliant “Dredd” (2012), imagine a similar situation. The principle difference being, they’re in a descending bloodbath, and there are zombies.
The most important thing this film does is a staple of all of my favorite Horror movies. It does not get bogged down with exposition. Where did the Zombies come from? I don’t care. What is going on elsewhere? It doesn’t really matter. I find it’s more fun that way. I cannot stress enough that, despite it’s distinctly Grindhouse plot, this is a well made film that looks pretty damn good, and is reasonably well acted. It has all of the hallmarks of a well-constructed French crime flick which Luc Besson would be involved with in some capacity (though he’s surprisingly not). This is not the simple, schlocky, B-Movie trash that you would think it is. Well, maybe it is, but it’s the best the genre has to offer and it’s simply a fucking fun watch from top down. Every Halloween someone leaves a bowl out saying “Take one, please!“, this is the film equivalent of dumping the whole fucking thing into your pillowcase. Admit it, we’ve all done it and it’s awesome. – LEE


Associated Recommendations:

The French have been cranking out some of the most interesting, violent and talked about Horror films for over a decade now. Here are just a few of the greats you’ve gotta check out.
Haute Tension (A.K.A High Tension) (2003): Absolutely crazy and terrifying story of home invasion. A gory game of cat-and-mouse becomes a whole lot more in this smart and original flick. Really turned heads when it came out. Oh. and anyone who has ever used a quick cut will dig this just a wee bit more.
Ils (A.K.A. Them)(2006): A brutal battle between a couple and a psycho-killer along a quiet stretch of  highway.
À l’intérieur (A.K.A Inside) (2007): YIKES! One of my all time favorites. I will say that I’ve convinced two people to watch this with me. Both said “Why did you make me watch that?”, they were simply unprepared. I can only assume nobody is really adequately prepared for this movie. I’ll be diving into this one in a week or two.
Martyrs (2008): I had a tough time watching this one. Kidnapping, brutal torture, and bloody revenge, Did I mention that it’s really tough to watch? Wrapped up in a visually and narratively compelling , unique film. You’ll have to judge it for yourselves but you’ve never seen anything like it.
(Lee Ostler is a musician, avid fight fan, man-of-many-words, and huge fan of fine cinema.  We think it’s too cute that he has a Minor in Film Studies, and are tickled pink that he now gets a chance to shine.  So, each Thursday, he will start our minds rolling for the weekend with another gem of a film we can hunt down.  Some will be easier to find than others, but that’s part of the game.  Get the home theatre ready, pop the corn, and prepare to see some friggin’ awesome films)

Get Your Copy of THE HORDE Here!