The French film La Horde answers the age-old question: When is it OK to do cocaine? Answer: when you’re in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. It’s not like your D.A.R.E. officer is going to find out.
Aside from the drug bit, La Horde revolves around a gang and a group of cops, who are holed up in a condemned Paris apartment building together when zombies attack. That is not a “long-storyshort” description. That’s all you get.
And so the issues with La Horde begin.
This film completely neglects basic zombie-movie requirements. First and foremost, the audience has to care about the characters. La Horde puts nearly zero effort into character development, leaving nothing for the audience to grab onto.
Also, the humans lack a goal. there’s talk of needing to “get out” of the building but no discussion of a safe haven or solution. One would also expect the characters to be seeking out new information, but in La Horde they see the first zombie, unload half a dozen clips in its chest (the head, guys, the head!), look at the rest and are, like, “darn.” Critical details about how the situation happened in the first place, or even how the characters feel about it, are absent.
The final misstep is that there is no real paranoia about infection. in order to survive, the characters in great zombie movies have to avoid blood in the process of spilling it. In La Horde, there’s no discussion of infection other than getting bitten. (well, duh.)
La Horde fails zombie enthusiasts, film nerds, and even those just looking to spike their adrenal glands with some scary action.
Sure, we all know the basic premise for zombie flicks by now, but that doesn’t relieve the filmmakers from their duty to tell the story well. Give us something to care about. (Rated R)