The Swarm Netflix Recommendation Explained. Um. Hold on, did you know you can make high protein flour out of locusts? Wait, WHAT? (Googling. Huh.) Anyway. This movie is NOT about locust farming. Although, it seems to be. If you just watched The Swarm on Netflix and are now wondering what the hell just happened… don’t worry, I got you. But first, to those of you who have not seen the French movie La Nuée (The Swarm – or, better translated, The Cloud) over on Netflix, please do so now. But buckle up, because this one is going to blow your mind. There’s a bit of body horror going on here. So it might not be for you. That’s fine. Just sit this one out, and make sure you watch Pig instead. No really. Those are your options. The Swarm, or Pig. You get to pick.
Netflix The Swarm Walkthrough
We meet Virginie when she isn’t at the top of her game. (By the way, Virginie is played by Suliane Brahim, who I instantly crushed on in Black Spot. Just loved loved loved that show and her role as the local cop, deep in the French forests.) She’s a single mother, and she is trying to figure out how to make ends meet by raising locusts. Locusts. Let that sink in for a moment. Back when I was in high school I had piranha. Grew them to enormous sizes by just feeding them and feeding them. (I had more square inches in tanks for my feeder fish than I did for my piranha – it was messed up.) But that was nothing in comparison to the craziness of Virginie’s locust swarms.
Yet, these locusts really aren’t doing that well. She’s trying to figure out how to give them water without drowning them and not giving them too little. She’s trying to figure out how to feed them adequately. But why? Well, apparently, her husband, who used to raise goats, recently passed away. We don’t know all the details as it isn’t really covered. But we know that he is dead, Virginie has moved from goats to raising locusts, and she’s hoping to find a mix of locust flour that will be a great feed for livestock or stores, etc. She’s looking for daylight anywhere she can find it.
She has two children… kids that are being bullied because of her mother’s weird occupation. Let’s admit this to ourselves, it is weird. They want nothing other than to just be normal, and to get the attention of their mother. Which, makes perfect sense especially after the loss of their father. It all makes sense, things are not going well at the Hébrard family residence.
Soon though, through a weird coincidence, Virginie realizes that the locusts (plural of locust? [is locusts -CY] Locustii? I think it’s Locustii. CY, make a note to let Webster’s dictionary know will you?? Thanks.) love blood. Yeah, you heard me right. Blood. All kinds of blood, Virginie’s blood. Cattle blood. Road kill blood. All the blood. Better yet, when the locusts eat blood, they multiply like crazy, and are bigger to boot. So Virginie starts buying blood in bulk. And before we know it, she’s expanding her locust housing real estate exponentially. When the blood runs out, she’s horking local stray dogs in with the locusts. When it’s not stray dogs, it’s cow shanks. And there was nothing to be had? Virginie is putting her own arm into the locust house. Yeah, you heard me correctly. Virginie is going to do absolutely anything it takes to make ends meet – and that includes feeding her self to the locust swarm.
One day, Laura, Virginie’s daughter, is pissed off about how loud the locusts are, and she slashes at their enclosure – freeing a large swath of them. The swarm kill a cow (It’s as if you put wings on piranha and set them free in the air, this is a really bad idea.) and a goat. Her son’s goat. (And his father raised the goats, right? Not a great look to find out that the son’s goat has been swarmed.) She settles things with Laura, and still has the problem of running out of blood. One night, Virginie sneaks into a local field and kills a cow, hacks up the meat, and hauls it back to her locusts. Virginie is POSSESSSSSED!
In the morning though, when it’s time for Gaston’s soccer camp, Laura is concerned for her mother. She’s not answering. She is wasted. She had been out all night stealing food for her locusts. And now she has no energy to take Gaston to camp. Laura takes him in the hopes that her mother will be there in time to see Gaston off. Then she never arrives. Laura, worried about her mother, races back home to check on her. But when she gets there, she finds her mother sitting in locust house… in her underwear, as the locusts are swarming all over her.
Possibly one of the only movies that really me say out loud – OH NOOOOOOO! I literally fell out of my chair with this particular scene. In an attempt to make the peace with her daughter, Virginie and Laura go over to Karim’s house for dinner. But soon enough, Virginie is pissed off about what she thinks Laura has said about her locust’s eating habits… and leaves. When Karim goes to look for Virginie at the locusts houses, he discovers a local neighbors body. Apparently he had come looking for his dog (which Virginie had fed to the locusts days before) and was overcome by the locusts. And Karim, overwhelmed by what Virginie has created here, decides he’s done with the locusts, and sets their homes alight. Which, wasn’t smart, because it releases the locusts into the air, who then attack Karim and kill him. Laura runs for her life, and hides in the pond under an overturned rowboat. The end.
NO! THAT ISN’T THE END!!
You are right my fearless readers, that actually isn’t the end. Actually, Virginie, in an attempt to save her daughter, cuts her arm and spreads her blood all over her face. Wait, what? Yeah, they are attracted to the smell of blood, and so, in an attempt to get her daughter out safely from under the swarm, she brings the swarm to herself.
But Did Virginie Survive The Swarm?!?
This is a funny question. I am only asking it hypothetically because I accidentally stumbled onto a site asking that exact same question while looking up The Swarm trailer. It literally makes not a lick of sense to me though. Why? Because the movie shows us Virginie still standing after the swarm dissipates. She even hugs her daughter after the locusts have left the building. So, does Virginie survive The Swarm? Yes, yes she does. The snoopy neighbor does not survive, the snoopy neighbor’s dog does not survive, Virginie’s neighbor’s cow does not survive, and Karim, Virginie’s potential future boyfriend, he does not survive. But everyone else survives. Gaston? Safe. Laura? Safe. Virginie? Safe. Now, it’s probably true that Virginie only survived because she was used to the swarm… that she didn’t allow herself to be overcome by them. She’s not immune or anything, because, that’s not a thing. She just didn’t let them overwhelm her.
But what does The Swarm Mean?
Finally! The interesting bit. I should just skip all the above drivel and always go straight to this bit. Hrm. What would that look like? Seems odd to me. But a lot less typing as I stop keeping us all on the same page. Regardless, hopefully those of you who were confused about the movie? Hopefully we are now all on the same page and you now know what physically happened in the movie. The meaning though? What does it all mean?
This one actually cut a bit close to the bone for me. Why? You aren’t a mother! Yes, that is true. But I have children, and it was hard to watch Virginie as she completely went all in on her locusts idea. You know? But I’m not obsessive compulsive about anything! (cough, look where you are. this? this is my hobby? hahahaha.) Just imagine what I’m like at work! hahahaha. Now drop children into this mix? Yeah, I was really relating to Virginie here. She was a woman possessed. She cared about nothing other than how to figure out these stupid locusts, and how to make them profitable.
It’s pretty obvious that she went all in on this thing that was going to put food on her kids table. Virginie didn’t care that it was a stupid idea. Or that this silly idea caused their family ridicule. Virginie just knew that she had to make something work or she and her kids were done. But in staring at the forest, she was completely missing the trees. If I can be honest, I do it all the time. I work so that I can “lovingly” provide for my children… but they don’t care about the provision. Your children just care about your involvement in their lives. Who cares that she gave her own blood up for her children. It doesn’t matter that she almost died for her children, all we can see is that she is completely missing the point of loving her children. Yes, there is one occasion where she takes them to the lake, but she only did that because she was worried that she was going to lose her locusts. She was demon possessed by this idea that she had to make this business idea work. You know? Virginie would do anything to make it work. Including die herself. But she didn’t realize that that wasn’t what her kids cared about. And as a result, a number of people died along the way. Their mother was actually selfish, and only myopically focused. And as a result, people died.
Yeah, there is a morality tale in here for me somewhere. HRmmm. If only I could figure it out.
Edited by: CY