This past weekend, I celebrated my birthday with a few of my favorite things: chocolate cake with raspberries, coffee spiked with Bailey’s, and zombies.
Spending an overcast day watching zombie flicks is definitely my idea of a good time. Some me time. Love celebrating another year of my life with lots of cinematic death!
The Horde (2009)
Imagine the French version of Scorcese’s The Departed… you know, the corrupted cops versus big bad gangsters… and add throngs of undead with a voracious appetite for man-flesh. French directors, Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher, mix a brutal crime-thriller with fast-paced zombie horror. Gritty. Unapologetic. Gore-filled. Action-packed. Horrifying.
These aren’t just every day common folk trying to survive. These are people who know how to kill and have made a living doin’ it. In fact, they really want to kill each other but a little infectious outbreak puts a kink in their plans.
I’m a HUGE fan of crime thrillers and was entertained from the get-go. The depravity of mankind is shown through some seriously brutal scenes that offer plenty of human v. human violence. And of course human v. zombie violence. The undead certainly can’t be ignored – they are fast, aggressive, and relentless.
The Horde definitely makes a point of revealing the monsters inside the people, not just zombies. Sure, it’s not a new message, but it provides solid entertainment nonetheless. Complete with guns, machetes, explosions, lots of blood, and headshots!
Director David Morlet takes a different approach to the virally infected. Instead of just throwing two hostile groups against each other, Morlet focuses on a couple and their relationship. Just how far would you go to save the one you love? The opening sequence of this film really drew me in – it was fast-paced and had some nice shock value.
Then the film’s pacing s l o w e d d o w n. Emotional. Psychological. Intimate. (However, I found myself cringing and shouting “JUST KILL HIM!” a lot.) But honestly, when do you put someone out of their infected misery? What if the military has a cure? The characters are faced with so many ‘what ifs’ while they wait for some sign of rescue in a large vacant facility.
Morlet creates a grisly environment that accentuates the desolation and loneliness exeperienced by the characters. If you’re not into slow-paced horror flicks then Mutants probably won’t be up your alley – though there are some seriously tense mutant-filled sequences especially towards the end.
While not entirely original or innovative, Mutants isn’t a bad film. In fact, it is very well done and beautifully bleak. Though I think less “oh-no-I-can’t-let-you-die-cause-I-love-you-so-much” and more raging mutants would have helped the pace of this movie and amped up the entertainment value.
Keep an eye out for the second part of this deadly marathon!