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Film / The Swarm (2020)

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The Swarm (Original French Translation: La Nuée) is a French Drama Horror Movie by Just Phillipot).

Virginie Hébrard (Suliane Brahim) is a widowed farmer living with her son Gaston (Raphael Romand) and teenage daughter Laura (Marie Narbonne), and their goat Huguette, trying to make a living by breeding and cooking locusts to sell as a food source. However, her methods aren't producing the desired results, and her locusts just aren't bringing in the money she needs to afford keeping her home, even with help from her winemaking neighbour Karim (Sofian Kammes) and other helping hands.

Well, one day, while destroying her lab in a fit of rage, she gets knocked unconscious. When she comes to, she notices the locusts drinking the blood she shed, and discovers it actually makes the locusts stronger and more full-bodied, producing a better crop. Sure, it also makes them more aggressive and bloodthirsty, but that is a small price to pay.

When she sells them, she starts bringing in more money so she can better provide for her family. All she needs to do is find sources of meat for the locusts to eat, and make sure no one finds out. But for how long can this possibly last?

The movie was released on August 29th, 2020. Netflix bought the distribution rights to it for several countries, and released it on August the 6th, 2021.

The Swarm contains examples of:

  • Bait-and-Switch: Laura is watching a video of a kid her age named Kevin about to eat what he calls a "locust crepe" (a crepe covered in worms) made by Laura's family. He raises it to his open mouth... and then throws it to the ground while disparaging Laura's family's name on the internet.
  • Disappeared Dad: Virginie's husband died before the events of the movie.
  • Eat the Dog: Twice.
    • First, when a tent full of locusts get loose, they carry of Huguette, who's later seen half-eaten and covered in them.
    • The other one is more like feed the dog to flesh-eating locusts, which is what Virginie does to her neighbour's dog.
  • Get Out!: A customer who bought some locusts from Virginie for too little money orders her out of his van when she goes inside it to throw out the contents.
  • Kill It with Fire: Karim sets Virginie's locust tents on fire to try and kill them. He just sets them all free.
  • Smash to Black: While Virginie is destroying her locust lab, she slips on an overturned container and falls backwards, hitting her head on impact with the ground, upon which the screen instantly goes black.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Virginie fed her neighbour's dog to her flesh-eating locusts one night. Near the end of the movie, the neighbour comes around looking for the dog because he hasn't seen it lately.
  • The Swarm: Of flesh-eating locusts. One tent full gets loose and eats Huguette.
  • Top-Down View: The intro shots of the movie are of an overhead view of a road in the middle of a cornfield at night.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Laura, in a rage, cut a hole in one of the tents Virginie was keeping her flesh-eating locusts in, setting them all free. They promptly attack Gaston and Huguette. Gaston hides in the truck, and Huguette is taken by the locusts. We never find out what happens to those freed locusts, which raises all kinds of implications for what that could mean for the ecosystem that they're loose in.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Virginie has put so much of her time and effort into trying to get her locusts to produce the desired results that she hasn't been as attentive to her kids as she could be. She regularly has Laura drive Gaston to his soccer practice.