Movies

The Swarm

This review will be a little different than other ones. I’m going to include at the bottom, after my review, the notes that I took while watching the movie. Obviously, it will be severely spoiler heavy so don’t read that part until you’ve watched it yourself. Unless you like spoilers, then go ahead.

The Review

A genuine slow burn horror, no jump scares. Everything foretold and spotted early on which only furthered that tension, that unsettling fear. If there is one word for this movie, it’s that: unsettling. Everything feels wrong, yet it’s trying so hard to feel like it’s normal. A fatherless family tries to survive on a farm by turning to alternative flour such as locust. There is a little bit of a message bluntly stated that food supplies are dwindling and locust flour is much better. It has more protein at 100 grams than meat does at 150 grams. Cool. A little distraction from what’s clearly about to unfold. The family has its own problems; the mother is too invested in the locusts to pay attention to her children, the daughter is an outcast at school due to her mom’s reputation, and the son wants his mom to be attentive and watch his soccer games.

There is a very human story here that eventually grows quickly twisted and more perverse as it goes on. The mother is desperate for money and her locust flour is barely as thick as others. She can’t find sellers. That sinking feeling is very prevalent as a viewer. The movie starts out innocent enough. The close up shots of locusts have them feel like a normal thing, but as time moves on, the perspective changes. This movie is insidious. The strain on the family explodes in various disturbing ways. The mother makes the most drastic of all the choices.

The body horror of seeing bugs on human flesh is very real here. It is used to great extent to drive home that sense of being unsettled. I was constantly uneasy. I actually had my text document up half the time, covering the horror on screen. The sound was still there. That is a masterpiece as well. We constantly hear the buzzing of the locusts when we’re at the family’s home. The sound gnaws at your mind. It starts to condition you in that short while that you watch the movie.

I’ll be honest folks, if it weren’t for the review aspect, I wouldn’t have normally watched this movie. I think my brain blurred out certain scenes that I watched from the sheer trauma of it. If you want expert level of horror, then look no further. I recommend this French film.

Spoilers

Spoilers

Warned you enough times, Spoilers

And the spoiler notes I made

SPOILERS

This movie is incredibly insidious and gnaws on the mind with a slow burn. The use of the locusts is at first peaceful, and normal. Slowly it twists and warps the perception of them to be wrong, to be an aberration. You can feel the sinking feeling as you start to think what will die first. This being a horror movie and all. My money is on the goat.

A family struggling to make ends meet who turns to alternative methods like raising locusts. The inability to sell the product turns to angst, anger and change. In unpleasant ways. Injuring herself leads to a change in the environment for the insects. They feed on blood. An old man appears to take his dog back, she had gotten lost. Again the feeling of foreboding fear. It might die.

A political message about food running out and that locust flour has more protein per 100 grams than meat does at 150 grams. The locusts that ate blood bred more. It begins. The title of the movie. Somehow makes a grasshopper molting feel unnerving. Children having to live with their mom’s reputation, the impact it has on their lives. Being treated as outcasts. Bullied.

Mom lets locusts feed on her injured arm. Closeup of her taking out bits of locusts from wound. Dear god, this is horror. The constant sound of the locusts making their distinctive sounds, always there keeping you on edge. She expands the habitat, that extension letting your mind wander as to how large the swarm will get. THe locusts themselves have apparently gotten larger than before.

Mom not involved in her children’s lives, too focused on succeeding with her locusts. This causes problems with her eldest child, a daughter.

locusts ate other locusts in kid’s bedroom. Mom cuts her wrists to draw blood to feed locusts, sits down inside their cage, and they swarm her. She contemplates her existence in bathtub afterwards.

Her friend is struggling as much as her with his winery. She manages to fill 5 large barrels full for the duck guy, earlier scene showed a couple lived during the heating process. Now she buys 30 liters of blood, and the old man with his dog from before his being creepy like, stalking. His dog growling. Starts to feed them bloody jelly. they go crazy. reveals she has three large setups now.
locust sound so loud when they feed, the sound is so prevailant and in your head, daughter has headset and volume to max and barely can drone it out. The setting sun leading the goat, the change to night. A master of tension.

Daughter runs up to greenhouse with locusts in rage, slashing at several of the containments with an exacto knife and then the greenhouse itself. They are loose. Younger brother is in truck with goat in the back. There it is that feeling of doom. The goat is going to get eaten while the boy watches helpless. The rope breaks, the swarm passes. The gost is missing. It is found several kilometers away, barely alive being eaten by what remains of the locusts. Mother deals with it. She disciplines the daughter who has angst agaisnt her mother for failing to care about the goats.

Mother helps son search for goat she well knows is dead.

A respite from the tension, a family trip to the lake. It’s bright and free of the locust’s buzz. Daughter notices the wounds on her mom’s body that she’s trying to hide. Back to the house, the sound returns. Daughter gets bought off with a shiny new scooter.

Mother gets close to winemaker friend, starts to kiss. She pulls aways when he tries to take her shirt off. Son keeps kicking ball into the greenhouse aggravating the locusts. Mom expands and cuts down former tree belonging to the goat or tries to. Makes more feed using her own blood because she can’t get the blood she requires because she’s on a waiting list.

Everytime we’re at the greenhouses, the only extra sound is the locusts. She damages her relationship with her winery friend.

Mom hears the old man’s dog at night, barking and growling. Finds it and feeds it to the locusts. I skipped forwards because we back to some satanic ritual stuff here. We out here breeding monsters. Can we stop sacrificing pets in horror movies? This feels super cheap but then again, it’s the french, they don’t care about animals. Son has nightmare about locusts.

Mom cleans the remains of the dog she murdered. Mom drives out to a random farm and kills a young calf. Cuts the body up and takes it back to feed her new babies. Needs all the blood she can get. The music is always dischordant.

Mom couldn’t be there to see her son off to soccer camp. Daughter drives home determined. Finds blood on her mom’s clothes. Goes to greenhouse and witness’s her mom’s feeding process to the locusts. sits there naked save for her head, as the feed of her body. Gnarly stuff. What the fuck french men, like the last movie I saw was disturbing but we out here on a whole new level.

Daughter reaches out to winery friend, says somethings wrong with her mom. He comes over and takes them both back to his place. Daughter tries to tell what’s going on, but mom doesn’t let that happen.

Old man comes searching for his dog. Looks around the greenhouses. Enters one. Yea, he’s next totally. Opens one of the locust bags, sees something at the back. Looks up and sees mass of locusts.

Winery friend drops them both back home. He backs up but then parks and decides to investigate greenhoueses as well. He gonna die maybe. Finds the half eaten dead body of the old man. Karim (wine man) runs off. Mom angrily runs at daughter demanding what she told him. He starts to pour gasoline all over the greenhouses and lights it on fire. The entire swarm escapes. IT attacks the house. surround karim, and have him half dead. being eaten alive.

laura runs away but the swarm gives chase. Mom follows, unsure of where her daughter is. Daughter is taking a boat upside down to hide away from the swarm in the water. The swarm descends on the boat as the daughter cries out for her mom. She is running down the beach watching. Mom cuts her hands, drawing blood, and coats her face. She is drawing the swarm out to her, a sacrifice for her daughter. She goes in the water, and the swarm all suicides into it as well. Mom lives.

WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST WATCH?

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