With a title like The Swarm, you would think that this is going to be another killer bee movie. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, this is a slow-burning family drama with some horror elements. The imagery alone is unnerving and at times truly frightening but the style of directing never fully commits to the horror genre. We stay firmly rooted in the reality of the situation, despite some relatively unbelievable developments. Because the character development and acting were so good you will just go along with them, stepping into the strange world of The Swarm.
Before I forget, I should remind you that you have our Rabbit Reviews list of Killer Bee Movies for you to check out. La Nuée follows Virginie Hébrard, a single mother trying to raise two kids and get her insect farm going. The insects in question are grasshoppers with their incessant and ominous chirping. When you see them close up, they look truly strange and alien. These locusts are also incredibly nutritious, especially when compared to cattle. They also produce lower levels of greenhouse gases in the process.
It’s been a couple of years since her husband passed away and Virginie is struggling to pay the bills at her farm. She lives with her two kids in a rural area of France, trying to become a successful locust farmer. That’s hard because her locusts are not reproducing at the right rate. Just as she’s decided to sell the farm, something will happen that will make her change her mind.
Although the themes explored in The Swarm are somewhat familiar, they somehow feel fresh. I found it so interesting to watch what this process of locust breeding entails. Moreover, I think this is something that as time goes on, will be much more common. This seamless blending of harsh realities and surreal events into a cohesive narrative really blew me away. It’s like at the same time this was an arthouse and a regular type of movie. Fucking French, they sure know how to make great and authentic movies.
Finally, I think that you shouldn’t go into The Swarm expecting a horror movie. This will enable you to fully enjoy the story and think about the metaphors that I leave for you to discover. Granted, most of them are pretty obvious, stemming from limited setting and characters. And don’t worry, they’ll be a couple of disgusting and nasty scenes along the way.
This feels like a movie you would recommend to someone to make them think how quirky and cultured you are. While at the same time you really care about the environment and look for practical solutions when it comes to climate change. All this might be true but also you could be just looking for something authentic and different. Something with that European sensibility and vision. And this is exactly that type of movie.
Director: Just Philippot
Writers: Jérôme Genevray, Franck Victor
Cast: Suliane Brahim, Sofian Khammes, Marie Narbonne, Raphael Romand, Victor Bonnel, Nathalie Boyer
Fun Facts: The Swarm is a debut for Just Philippot, the director.