Counting down the days until I am at the Colorado Festival of Horror in Denver! One of my favourite parts of horror conventions is the indie film festival that usually accompanies them! Keep an eye out for a special blog post about my experience there!
And speaking of films — what a great transition! — onto my review of a horror movie!
A single mother breeds locusts as high-protein food, but has trouble getting them to reproduce — until she finds they have a taste for blood.– The Swarm Netflix landing page
The Swarm is a 2020 French horror film (original title La Nuée) directed by Just Philippot, starring Suliane Brahim, Sofian Khammes, Marie Narbonne, Raphael Romand and Nathalie Boyer. Based on an screenplay by Jérôme Genevray and Franck Victor (and not on a 1978 film of the same name), the film was selected for the International Critics’ Week at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival (cancelled due to COVID).
Currently streaming on Netflix, The Swarm follows Virginie, a single mother, who is trying to provide for her family by breeding locusts as a protein rich food for livestock. However, her stock isn’t breeding as much as she needs and in a fit of stress, Virginie starts raging out in her locust enclosure. She ends up hurting herself and learns that blood seems to spark a burst of reproduction in her locusts.
Of course, in her pursuit of finding enough blood to feed her locusts, who now only desire a diet of flesh, there are a lot of hijinks and some deaths.
This is one of those movies where the characters really seem to deserve what they get for their hubris. Virginie just becomes obsessed with her locusts and never seems to have any idea of what danger blood-thirsty bugs might pose to her, her two children — who are completely unaware of the danger just in their backyard — and the nearby town. It was hard for me to have any sympathy for her, or her rather unlikable daughter, combine that with a predictable plot, and the movie ended up being rather disappointing.
The eeriest part of the movie was the sound of the locusts. If you have a fear of bugs, you’ll likely get some chills, just because it is a movie about locusts but overall, The Swarm fails to capitalize on anything original or thrilling.
Otherwise, the movie itself was just a bit of a yawnfest with a forced feel-good ending.
One of my biggest annoyances with this film is that when the daughter releases a huge amount of flesh-eating locusts, there is no repercussions or even reaction from the main character. In fact, the mom just takes her two kids to the beach and no mention is ever made of the swarm of locusts that probably ate a bunch of cattle. We never see any kind of follow-up.
Then the ending is supposed to make us feel good, mom saves daughter by cutting her palms and leading the locusts off into a pond to drown, but it more just illustrated what a lackluster and ineffective horror these bugs were. There was no sense of real fear in the movie and it avoided any real kind of bloodbath or conflict. For a creature-feature, it sucked.