Do you ever get irritated with helpless, insufficiently proactive horror movie characters? Sure, we all do. Happily, John Crenshaw is cut from an entirely different cloth. This former Navy SEAL is nobody’s victim. Finally, a colony of radioactively mutated genetic freaks has a real fight on their hands in Jared Cohn’s The Horde (trailer here), which releases today on VOD.
Crenshaw has reluctantly agreed to accompany his girlfriend Selina Duboix and her high school photography class on their extra credit camping trip. They will be minding a real horror movie mix of kids, including the hot-and-heavy couple in the backseat, potential final girl Hailey Summers, and the entitled Riley St. Claire, who is so obnoxious, we will probably be okay if he meets a gruesome end.
Of course, the inbred mutants will duly attack after dark, but they are led by the suspiciously healthy-looking Cylus Atkinson and his partner. They might not be from around these parts, but they are still psychotic. During the melee, Crenshaw gets pulled fairly far afield, which allows Atkinson and his knuckle-draggers to capture Duboix and whichever kids are still alive. However, Crenshaw is quickly back in the game, picking off the mutants one-by-one.
The whole concept underlying The Horde is simple but massively potent. It is exactly what fans always long to see when they mistakenly start watching some sort of sadistic torture porn. Unfortunately, Cohn allows the deviants far too much free time with their captives before Crenshaw starts rocking their world. Some of those scenes just excessively painful to watch. However, it certainly makes the retribution cathartic. Cohn and screenwriter-star Paul Logan do not betray viewers with a screw-you ending either. If you are in the mood for some vicarious payback, you have come to the right place.
As Crenshaw, Logan has obvious skills and surprising screen presence. He also develops some rather nice chemistry with Tiffany Brouwer’s Duboix. We’d like to see these folks stay together. Genre veteran Costas Mandylor snarls and chews the scenery like a pro, while another horror movie veteran’s early and rather innocuous appearance essentially screams for a darker third act return.