The Swarm (2021) Netflix Review

Director: Just Philippot

Writers: Jérôme Genevray, Franck Victor

Stars: Suliane Brahim, Sofian Khammes, Marie Narbonne

RATING: 2.5 Stars

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To save her farm from bankruptcy, a single mother begins a business of breeding edible grasshoppers. Soon she develops a strange, obsessive relationship with them. – From IMDB

I hate bugs. Seriously. It’s not a fear, I’m not AFRAID of them. I hate them. If I have a moth or a mosquito in my room while I’m trying to sleep I have to turn the light on and destroy that critter before I can go to sleep. My rational mind knows one moth cannot hurt me, but the thought of them crawling over me while I sleep just creeps me out….OK, maybe I am a little afraid of them…

So imagine how uncomfortable this film made me, a person that hate insects so much. My skin was crawling pretty much the entire time. So in that regard I guess the film achieved it’s goal of making the audience squirm. But I don’t know if it would have that same effect on someone who doesn’t view the subject matter the same way I do. The film has very little horror to it despite it being marketed that way. In fact it is only really in the last 30 minutes or so that the insects really start to do anything remotely horrific. The rest of the time it is mostly implied or heavily alluded too.

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Because of this the pace of the film is incredibly slow. We are constantly waiting for the bad stuff to happen only to be disappointed when it doesn’t, the excellent tension building can only carry this film so far. The plot is focussed mainly on the single mother of the family and her struggles to keep her farm afloat, and that isn’t really the story that people are going to click on this film to see. I expected a lot more swarms of human eating locusts, as much as that idea grosses me out. And while Suliane Brahim gives a great performance as Virginie, I never really got behind her story.

It doesn’t help that none of the characters really have any personality or back story. Quick throwaway lines are mentioned every now and then to explain why a certain character might act a certain way, but there is no natural, progressive character development or growth at all.

A bit of a disappointment, but I still think I will be going to be with all my windows closed tonight.

‘The Swarm’ is streaming on Netflix Now!

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