Two genres that basically shaped me as a person are action and horror, from my earliest days in watching films to now. They have always been a staple for me, and they seem to be the kinds of films people most associate with me. So when an action/horror film falls into my lap, my interest is there; however a film needs to stand out and be different in some way if it is going to get remembered. Both genres have a lot of films constantly coming out and competing with each other, it is easy to miss certain titles. I really hope the audiences do not miss THE HORDE, because it is a gem of the genres and a memorable one at that.
Our film tells the story of John Crenshaw (Paul Logan), a former Navy SEAL who is ready to settle down with his girlfriend Selina (Tiffany Brouwer). He has a romantic weekend away planned, however that gets thrown out the window when he messes up the dates and she has a trip planned with her photography students to go away for some nature photography. He decides to go with her and the students, and our adventure begins.
Without ruining the start, the pre-credit sequence gives us a preview of things to come and it starts off with a bang. I truly believe that films (books ect) need to grab their audience from the beginning otherwise there is a big risk of losing said audience. I appreciate a good opening and one that grabs me, and the way it was done with THE HORDE it certainly got my attention and I didn’t take my eyes off the screen. Once we get into the main story, it does take some time to set up and it plays with expectations. It feels like it’ll be a straight up horror film but there are seeds planted that give off that action vibe as well.
The teenagers of the study group aka the victims are typical for the type of film this is, although in a way I felt they weren’t necessarily just one dimensional. Well not all of them anyway, and the only real memorable one of the bunch is the stuck up Riley (Thomas Ochoa), and as much as you want to smack him in the face it’s kind of hard to watch what happens later on. There was definitely an effort put in to make these kids actual characters, and I definitely think that Paul Logan (who also wrote the film) tried his best to make that happen. Selina is a likeable character and I wish I had a teacher like her in high school, she may be a little too perfect but that didn’t affect anything for me.
Truly though the star of the film is Paul Logan, John Crenshaw is a nice guy with a past and if he gets messed with he will fight back. There are hints early on that he is a bonafide badass, which quite honestly were really fun to witness. Once the group gets caught in something they really shouldn’t be caught up with, things really go to hell and action and horror are flying everywhere. They are hand in hand, like Rambo meets The Hills Have Eyes and honestly I couldn’t have been happier. Talents such as Costas Mandylor and Vernon Wells show up, each having some intense and memorable scenes to boot. There is also an amazing cameo by a well known martial arts star, and fans will definitely get a kick out of that.
At the end of the day THE HORDE is not going to appeal to everyone, no film truly will do that right? But for the genre fans, this one delivers on all fronts, there is a hell of a lot of action and the horror elements are here in spades. Some of the gore may even be a little too much for some, it definitely has its cruel moments. For me Paul Logan delivered as a leading man (he’s very easy on the eyes too) and as writer, he does his own stunts and the action looks fantastic. Here is an action hero we deserve, he is the total package, so this needs to happen. I had a blast with this film, even the flaws did not harm the fun I had. Sometimes all you need is a crazy film on a lazy afternoon, and THE HORDE did just that for me.