Per Matt
What happens when edible locusts go bad? Something’s abuzz with these bugs once they taste blood in The Swarm!

A French locust farmer is having a hard time making ends meet — to be honest, it sounds like a difficult profession to make ANY kind of money, whatsoever. Apparently, there’s more protein in 100 grams of locusts than 150 of meat, but who’s buying bugs for dinner? Raising insects, they’re not reproducing or making any money for Virginie (Suliane Brahim). She doesn’t flinch when her son informs her that the bugs have “eaten” the wort off his finger, but when she accidentally leaves some fresh blood within their habitat, she soon discovers they’re living high off the hog.

When she ups the blood quota for feeding time, I get uneasy. And all of the quick-cuts to the neighbor’s dog, as well as the family goat? They never even stood a chance against these little buggers.

It doesn’t surprise me that a teenage girl with anger issues releases this blood-thirsty menace into the wild, and it seems fitting that the country’s origin is France. What does bug me is that Virginie had absolutely no fears that somehow, some way, these critters could one day become six-legged killers. How in the world could that scenario never enter her mind, while feeding them blood-soaked gelatin patties? Only in the movies, I guess.

“Everybody thinks your business is a little creepy…”

After all of this madness, I was actually rooting on the little buggers, as they were the most likable characters in the movie! All they want to do is eat. And live. And breed. If that’s not relatable, I don’t know what is.

Horror movies have a long list of blood-thirsty critters, from dogs, cats, monkeys, rats, birds, sharks, snakes, fish, gators, bears, spiders and many more, but I can’t remember watching any films that featured killer locusts. The concept intrigued me. However, the final product did not.

As this is a French film dubbed into English, that element didn’t bother me at all. It was the filmmaker’s inaction that kept me from enjoying this one. There’s a whole lot of psychological horror going on. I kept expecting something more to happen, but the story (and the drama) gets dragged out for roughly an hour before there’s ever any action, which does kind of creep up on you. Outside of a schoolyard incident, there really isn’t much violence, but the mounting foreshadowing is brutal. It doesn’t help that the conclusion is anticlimactic.

Hunger to succeed at business can be addicting, but as soon as you think you can control the monster you created, you’ve already got one foot in your grave. By the time she’s huddled over, moaning, crying and feeding herself to her little moneymakers, she finally realizes she has a problem and it’s already too late for Virginie (as well as the viewer, assuming you’ve survived that slow burn).

In terms of a foreign language film, this one isn’t bad. As far as a horror films go, The Swarm bites.