Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The Herd (2023)

THE HERD should have been a miniseries. A story with way too much going on, the film simply doesn't have enough time to make it all work.

The film is the story of a young woman, who goes on a canoe trip with her girlfriend in order to work out the complications that have arisen since the death of their daughter. When an accident leaves one of the women with a broken leg they try to find help and find themselves in the middle of a epidemic that leaves its victims like a crazed zombie.

As I said at the top there is too much going on in this film for it to work in a feature. As it stands in its current form THE HERD's script doesn't make any sense. Why the women are going canoeing during a "zombie" apocalypse makes little sense. The reasoning was the TV in the city didn't make it look bad. How could they not know? The relationship between the women is not really explained and they are ciphers for a good chunk of the film, they are a couple because the film says so. Actually, everyone on screen seems under written and if it wasn't for a great cast there would be no "people" on screen.  The plotting seems to have holes. The pair go canoeing in a seemingly wooded area, only to end up walking in a rural area, near the hated home of our heroine. Why did they go anywhere near there? More to the point how did they get from the woods to open fields? There is no sense of a time frame for everything so the sudden rise of well-organized militias in the hinterland is a head scratcher.  As more details were revealed I wanted to raise my hand and ask questions.

While I understand that the film is supposed to be more of a character study, too few details are given as to make anything we get from the film is simply a guess on our part.

Honestly most of the problems could be solved with additional exposition. Why it isn't here is beyond me since the film only runs about 95 minutes. The better solution would have been to do this as a mini-series and let it run for four or six parts, there is enough hinted at or referenced to make me think it would have been easy to do.

While the script doesn't work, the cast shines. As I said above the cast, especially Jeremy Holm, is stunning and make the film watchable. See it for them.

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