review by Bobby Blakey
I love horror films, but even more so when they take a creative approach to the direction. The latest, Overlord comes from director Julius Avery and producer J.J. Abrams and features a great mostly new face cast including Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, Pilou Asbeak, Bokeem Woodbine. The trailers for this film looked insane, but could it be one that actually stands out and brings something fresh and memorable to the table or will its mission be unable to resurrect?
Overlord follows several American paratroopers that are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion's success: destroy a radio tower built in a little castle of an old French town that it's close to Normandy's beaches, and that Third Reich uses as straight communication between Berlin and beaches' bunkers. Due to the intense enemy fire caused by cannons and machine guns, all the planes are shoot down and the most of the soldiers die in the landing or they are killed by Nazis' night patrols after to take land. But the mission complicates when by chance a private named Boyce gets into the Nazi radio tower, just to find a horrible secret experiment with human beings that it could bring the victory to Hitler and would change the fate of the world forever. With D-Day approaching, Boyce and the others begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation, having to fight against supernatural forces not only to destroy the radio tower, but destroy the own experiment before Hitler's gets his Third Reich of thousand years he promised.
From the trailers I was having issues trying to figure out what direction they were going in relation to the creature like people in it and can’t lie I was so hoping for werewolves, but I always am. Sadly they were not werewolves, but instead more of zombie type mutants with aggression similar to those in 28 Days Later. From the moment this film kicks off it lets you know that it is going to be an experience and not just another horror flick in the best way possible. There is two films here with half of it being a war movie and the other being the insane world of the genetic experiments and the undead.
The cast all do a great job bringing the needed emotion, fear and all around confusion to the mix as things unfold. They all had great chemistry and are believable as a unit of sorts despite all having completely different views of the direction their mission should go. It is uncanny seeing Wyatt Russell on screen here. There are so many moments that are really hard to tell the difference between him and his famous father, but make no mistake he carries his role all on his own and is great in the film. Alongside him is Jovan Adepo who carries the majority of the film and stands out all around. They work great together to create a team you believe in and are concerned to them being able to work together.
For those wondering where this film falls in relation to action or horror it is really a bit of both. Honestly it plays up more on the war side and is executed to perfection using mostly practical effects that help you to really buy into the insanity going on. When it gets into the crazed horror elements it is a bit over the top at times in the best way possible once again using some genius prosthetics and practical effects to bring some memorable and horrific imagery to life. Despite it being a modern movie it brings some old school film elements to it including a black and white opening that fits with the time and theme of the overall film.
I loved every aspect of this film and despite not getting the werewolves that I wanted cannot wait to check it out again. Bring home this insane war horror flick that is filled with numerous featurettes taking fans behind bringing the gore and bullets to life. Join the fight against the undead Nazi’s when Overlord hits Digital on February 5th and then on 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD on February 19th from Paramount Home Entertainment.