The Swarm (2020) Review: Disgustingly Mind-Blowing

The Swarm or La nuée is a French horror movie directed by Just Philippot and starring Suliane Brahim, Marie Narbonne and Raphael Romand, alongside other cast members. The movie runs for 101 minutes.

Netflix’s description reads:

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 review does not contain spoilers –

The fact that anyone would want to spend time willingly with a bunch of locusts is amazing to me. Granted, I am not a fan of insects in general, but this is a horror movie waiting to happen.

For those of you who are expecting this to be a high-intensity film that’s go-go-go from the first minute, you’re mistaken. The Swarm starts off as a family drama and it’s slow as shit in the beginning. Of course, you’re given a hint that something’s going to happen with the locusts, but that comes much later.

The family drama is pretty gnarly – Virginie, Laura and Gaston are trying to get by with their locust business. Virginie lost her husband some time back and they’re still trying to pick up the pieces. Virginie has a lot on her mind, she is hardly making enough money to get by and taking care of her children is becoming difficult. It’s sad to watch Virginie going through this because she’s really trying her best. However, greed takes the better of her and what happens next is nothing less than horrifying.

Now, coming to the horror aspect of it. The Swarm is horrifying but not in the traditional sense – at least at the starting. The movie can get a bit annoying because of how slow-paced it is. However, the truth of the horror, when it comes forward, made me wide-eyed.

The Swarm has this suffocating feeling that just keeps on building. It’s painfully and deliberately slow, ebbing and building the tension throughout. However, the feeling of gloom never really leaves. The gore isn’t a lot, but it’s added in the right doses at the right moments.

The Swarm is effective with its horror. I haven’t seen a movie that made my skin crawl as much as this one. Although the blood isn’t a lot, the way that blood comes out is beyond my wildest dreams. Like, I wouldn’t have ever thought that this would be the direction the movie would take when I first started watching it.

The Swarm’s cinematography is excellent and makes watching this amazing (or disturbing, whichever direction you wanna take). The director did us a favour by keeping some gnarly shots for longer than necessary on-screen. Thus, if you thought you could get away with not watching locusts being disgusting, you’re mistaken. At around 25 minutes left, The Swarm throws us a whammy that we were not ok to witness and from there on out, my dread took total control of me.

Suliane Brahim is absolutely wonderful as Virginie. She’s the life of this movie and carries it on her shoulders deftly. So are Marie Narbonne and Raphael Romand. Brahim puts forward the pain and suffering of a single mother at her wit’s end and then becomes sort of a crazed maniac willing to go to any lengths to get her family out of a rut.

Summing up: The Swarm

The Swarm
The Swarm (2020) Review: Disgustingly Mind-Blowing 10

The Swarm is visceral, horrifying and an absolute hoot to watch. If you’re a fan of horror, I recommend this wholeheartedly. It’s slow-paced, but it delivers when it finally picks itself up.

The Swarm is streaming on Netflix.

Also Read: Aftermath (2021) Review: Decent Thriller Keeps It Going

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The Swarm starts off slow-paced and naive... until it makes your skin crawl.

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