[BITS 2018 Review] 'The Hoard' Perfectly Blends Reality TV With Horror Comedy

I've spent many years of my life poking fun at reality television, so when I heard about this new horror comedy called The Hoard, a film that spoofs reality television's biggest shows, I knew that I had to see it. Without a doubt, this is one of the funnest films I've seen in years!

In this hilarious mash-up of "Flip That House," "Hoarders" and "Ghost Hunters," professional show organizer Shelia Smyth (Lisa Solberg) assembles a team of reality television "all-stars" for a new show titled "Extremely Haunted Hoarders." The team consists of hoarder expert Dr. Lance Ebe (Tony Burgess), ghost hunters Chloe Black (Elma Begovic) and Caleb Black (Ry Barrett), and home renovators Derek "Duke" Jago (Marcus Ludlow) and The Falcon (Justin Darmanin), who also pick up vagrant Charles Ivey (himself) as an extra "helping hand."

The team's goal, tackling lifelong hoarder Murphy Evans (Barry More) and his three houses that are packed with year's of accumulated junk before they're labeled condemned and Evans is evicted. Splitting up into each of the homes, the crew members are slammed with more than they bargained for. Human errors, Evans' refusal to part with his "treasures" and some unexplained phenomena halt the team's efforts and send the show plummeting into disaster, turning the ultimate reality show into a deadly nightmare.

Right from the start, I was completely enthralled with the aesthetic and tone of The Hoard, as it hits the ground running and instantly goes for the throats of reality television giants in the most hilarious ways. It perfectly balances horror and comedy, with the first half of the film focusing on comedic on-goings between cast members and the second half venturing into horror territory, as people start to lose it and blood begins to flow. I honestly haven't been this in love with a film of this type since What We Do in the Shadows!

Directors Jesse Thomas Cook and Matt Wiele skillfully harnessed the energy of the film's fantastic cast and created a mockumentary that never runs out of momentum. The entire cast was such a joy to watch, Tony Burgess brilliantly portrays the pompous Dr. Ebe, especially when he begins to go batshit crazy. Both Ry Barrett and Elma Begovic have great chemistry together as the ghost hunting duo who recently divorced due to a bi-sexual ghost encounter. Though, Duke, The Falcon, and Ivey were definitely my favorite characters to watch, delivering some of the biggest laughs of the film and really taking their performances to the next level during the final act. It's obvious that everyone had a wonderful time making this film and I have absolutely no complaints with cast performances.

Quite frankly, I would've had a blast with The Hoard even if it didn't have horror elements involved and was strictly a reality television spoof, that's how great it is! The fact that the film does go completely off the rails and into the realm of horror for its finale is simply a much appreciated bonus.

Over the top and insanely hilarious, The Hoard is one of the best horror comedies in years. It's pure comedic joy and I can't recommend it enough!

Official Selection at the 2018 Blood in the Snow Film Festival. The Hoard's World Premiere is Sunday, November 25th at 7:00PM at The Royal Theatre in Toronto, Ontario.


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