The Hoard review: Frightfest Glasgow comes to a close with a mockumentary comedy horror (heavy emphasis on the comedy) about a hoarder whose houses are haunted.
If there’s a theme to this year’s Frightfest Glasgow films, it’s that many of them include a pre-feature warning. Both Finale and Here Comes Hell have someone on stage talking direct to camera, warning of the horrors to come. The Hoard, which constructs itself like a television show, sticks to the found footage mantra of flashing some text on-screen. As with the other films mentioned, this text does offer a little insight and reads, ‘The following presentation is derived from footage captured by the catastrophic reality TV pilot Extremely Haunted Hoarders.’
The Hoard is pretty much what it says in those opening words. Television today is full of both ghost-hunting and lifestyle-changing shows, The Hoard chucks the two together to create the ultimate ‘remove brain’ TV Show. ‘Experts’ in both fields are thrown together to investigate the three houses (because on haunted hoarder, one house is not enough) owned by Ohio native Murph Evans. The team consists of professional organiser Sheila Smyth, hoarder expert Dr. Lance Ebe, clairvoyant Chloe Black, tech worker Caleb Black, contractor Duke, and renovator The Falcon. As the group begin their routine investigation, they find more than they bargained for.
It’s a nice idea to mix the two popular show types, and for the first thirty minutes or so, it skewers the conventions of both perfectly. In these moments it feels very much like a comedy version of Supernatural episode ‘Ghostfacers’, sadly though this energy doesn’t hold-up. An important thing to note about the show that The Hoard seeks to represent is that they run for a maximum of around forty minutes without adverts. The film however, comes in at around the hundred minute mark. It’s a little too long to maintain the same level of interest throughout, and there are a few plot points that could be cut or reworked to reduce the run time to something more palatable.
Billed as a comedy horror, The Hoard is certainly much more concerned with the comedy than the horror. Humour is subjective and unfortunately the comedy on display in The Hoard is not my brand. If you’re a fan of seeing people get sewage sprayed in their face, and masturbation jokes, then The Hoard may well be up your street. For me personally, it just felt too silly and too much, maybe if there were a few less it wouldn’t feel quite as bloated.
Being overlong and bloated given the styles of shows it’s emulating, The Hoard starts well, but ultimately gets lost in silliness. If you’re a fan of a certain brand of comedy then you’ll have the time of your life, otherwise you may find the whole affair rather unsavoury.
The Hoard review by Kat Hughes, March 2019.
The Hoard screens at Frightfest Glasgow.