La Horde

Year: 2009
Production Co: Capture the Flag Films
Director: Yannick Dahan/Benjamin Rocher
Writer: Yannick Dahan/Benjamin Rocher

Like September 11 or the Kennedy assassination, the inevitable zombie outbreak will be the basis of one of the pivotal cultural questions of future years ('where were you when...').

Maybe you were a SWAT team cop who ran away with a co-worker, a TV news technician and her boyfriend to an abandoned Pittsburgh shopping mall. Maybe you were a London bicycle courier convalescing in hospital after a car accident. Maybe you were a spunky young reporter accompanying a cameraman to do a puff piece overnight in a Madrid firehouse.

Whatever you were doing it suddenly paled into insignificance as the undead apocalypse unfolded in the world around you. That's the situation a group of rogue cops find themselves in while they're in the middle of a mission of revenge against the crime gang that killed one of their colleagues.

A small timing mishap sees the whole thing go wrong. One of the four-man team's blown away and the savage gangsters take the rest of the team prisoner. While they try to figure out how many more might be lying in wait outside the dingy apartment block hideout before they kill their captives, the unthinkable happens when the bodies lying dead after the shootout sit up and savagely attack the survivors, only the most brutal damage to their bodies stopping them.

Realising they're each others' only chance for survival, the erstwhile gang climb to the roof to escape the crazies who now roam the halls and see the city around them on fire, shuffling figures milling around on the ground far below.

So begins one of the least original but still very satisfying zombie romps of a very overstuffed field. It subscribes to a lot of genre tropes from the killing-by-numbers plot to the group tensions, but writer/director Yannick Dahan has a great eye for bloodshed and it's well structured, finishing on an appropriately nihilistic note.

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