The absolutely hilarious mockumentary The Hoard is a comedic collision of reality tv tropes borrowing from the paranormal investigation, self-improvement, and makeover subgenres. Possibly the silliest movie I have seen all year, The Hoard is an absolute laugh out loud riot that so perfectly captures everything you love to hate about reality television.
The Hoard is directed by Jesse Thomas Cook (Monster Brawl) & Matt Wiele (Ejecta), who both share writing credits with Tony Burgess (Pontypool). The film stars Lisa Solberg, Tony Burgess, Ry Barrett and Elma Begovic with Marcus Ludlow and Justin Darmanin rounding out the cast. There is also a pretty hilarious cameo from co-director Jesse Thomas Cook as an ego-driven bylaw officer and (best I can tell) uncredited narration from genre favourite Stephen McHattie (Pontypool, History of Violence). The Hoard celebrated its world premiere at the 2018 Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival November 25 and if you are lucky enough, I would highly encourage you to see the film with an audience.
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“The Hoard is an absolute laugh out loud riot that so perfectly captures everything you love to hate about reality television:
Like a crossover event between multiple reality shows, The Hoard brings together a half-dozen dummies hoping to save a hoarder from a lifetime of junk collection. Heading the team are host Sheila Smythe (Lisa Solberg) and Dr. Lance Ede (Tony Burgess) whose credentials are questionable at best. Shiela’s hope is that with the help of the good doctor and her team, she can save hoarder Murph, from himself. Along to help are a few hot-headed handymen and, of course, a team of paranormal investigators. Why the paranormal investigators? Well as you surely know, “10% of all hoarding cases involve extremely haunted houses“, and that’s no joke…
Murph, not your average hoarder, owns several properties to support his habit but the city has given Murph his final warning. He’ll be thrown in jail if his properties are not cleaned up in the next 48 hours. It’s a tall order but Sheila is confident the team can pull it off in time, and no amount of dead bodies, electromagnetic disturbance or “Short-Term Shame Based” therapy is going to get in their way.
Similar to disaster send-up Airplane! (1980), The Hoard is a gag-a-minute comedy made to cast as wide a net as possible. If you don’t laugh at a particular joke, don’t worry because half-dozen are right around the corner. Sure, you may come up against some crude humor that will do nothing for you (if that’s not your thing) but it’s book ended by clever caricatures, goofy performances, and parody-o-plenty.
The reality tv framework has been used before, but it’s a gimmick most films cast aside (*cough* They’re Watching) right at the moment they should be diving in deep. To its credit The Hoard never drops it’s overly-dramatic score, understands the importance of a well placed testimonial, and (a staple in all Hoarder programs) isn’t afraid to pull a few dozen dead cats out of its sleeve. And I don’t think enough can be said about the editing in a good reality show. First off, I’m sure it’s an absolute pain to string even the most basic narrative together from hours and hours of footage, but the editing itself feels like a character, sarcastically commenting from the sidelines. The Hoard absolutely nails the look and feel of an over-the-top, too-serious-for-its-own-good reality show.
“The Hoard absolutely nails the look and feel of an over-the-top, too-serious-for-its-own-good reality show”
The Blood In The Snow Film Festival is a showcase of Canadian horror, genre, and underground cinema. More than that, it also serves as a summit for indie filmmakers looking to gain insight into how to navigate the tricky waters of distribution, networking, and (scariest of all) tax credits. The festival runs November 22-27. To see all our coverage of the 7th annual Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival, click HERE.