Out Now On-Demand
Over-the-top action horror follows US soldiers on a mission behind enemy lines who discover a Nazi lab full of unholy experiments.
On the eve of D-Day, American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion's success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realise there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. They find themselves fighting against mysterious, powerful forces - part of a Nazi experiment. At one point reported to be an entry in the Cloverfield universe, producer J.J. Abrams announced its separation from that series in early 2018.
- Julius Avery('Son of a Gun')
Action, Horror, War
Rating: R18+ High impact violence
Overlord looks like it should be a derivative, direct-to-DVD stinker, but it pleasantly over-delivers as a charming B-grade triumph. It knows what it is, keeps its sights set on comfortably-within-range targets and nails them well. The Third Reich's flirtation with the occult has made for countless schlocky pop culture releases over the decades, most of them very average. This one probably isn't going to win any awards, but it more than deserves the cult following it will surely develop.
The supernatural elements aren't introduced until well into the running time after a solid pre-D-Day invasion sequence sets the tone. Tension is developed immediately and never really lets up, maintaining a satisfying rhythm that's peppered with jump-scares and violence. The American platoon that gets trapped in a Nazi-controlled French town is made up of cliched characters, but they're generally endearing enough and all anchored by Jovan Adepo's lovely lead performance.
When the freaky shit starts happening, it's wisely never over-explained. The filmmakers use visual language and rely on the audience connecting a few basic dots, galloping from action scenes to tension-building scenes and back again instead of mucking about with too much silly exposition. Despite the R-rating and large amounts of blood, Overlord doesn't wallow in excessive gore. When people are killed you definitely know they've been killed, but over-the-top violence is never done for laughs. Indeed, the tone is surprisingly serious however kitsch the subject matter may make it all sound, but somehow it really worked for me.
It won't work for everybody. Horror nuts wanting a pure dread experience, splatter comedy fans wanting to have a giggle and war movie purists all may leave disappointed. But for viewers open to an entertaining, unlikely mash-up, Overlord is bloody great.
Dread Central (USA)
It's a War Movie, No Wait, It's Monsters
The movie starts off like a typical war movie. Young lads, testerone, bravado. It soon becomes apparent that there's something weird going on in the little French village. There's a pretty French damsel of course, and a cute kid, plus a motley gang of soldiers who make it to the village. There's a lot of fast moving action. Many tense moments. Scenes where I went, "Argh!", and I'm not usually that sort of person. Abandon all sense of reality and enjoy the fast-paced ride. It's like a roller coaster ride filled with adrenalin ... and yeah, monsters. Definitely worth a viewing. You'll enjoy it if you're not into pretentious arty farty stuff.
Those nasty Nazi's are at it again.
This film will keep you riveted from the first frame to its last. Set in WWII in France as it follows a group of surviving paratroopers on a mission that quickly becomes a whole lot more horrifying. It's loud, in your face action, gory but really quite a little gem of a horror film. Its kinda schlocky but it embraces this and practically revels in its absurdity. But in the end this is just a whole lotta fun.
Gory, Intense and oh so much fun!
Looking for a relaxing, soothing flick? Then maybe choose another film. If instead you're keen to spend two hours on the edge of your seat watching WW2 soldiers fight it out against some of the scariest zombies I've seen in awhile then I can't recommend Overlord enough.
Check your brain at the door for a genre mixing fun fest of war and gore
Two of my favourite genres mixed together? What more could I ask for. Think a mix of Inglorious Basterds and Zombieland and you're part way there. Lots of giggles and laughs through the film will tell you that historical accuracy and plot have been left behind for action filled fun and gore. But it really was a rollercoaster of fun. Loved it.
A fast-paced, fun WW2 action-horror
*(WARNING: Review may contain SPOILERS!)*
Julius Avery’s ‘Overlord’ gets the special effects right, combining make-up, practical and CGI just right. Sadly all in service of a film neither funny enough to be splat-stick, nor terrifying enough to be gore-drenched horror.
I’m a splat-stick fan. Sam Raimi’s ‘Evil Dead 2’ and Peter Jackson’s ‘Braindead’ are amongst my favourite movies. I love practical SFX, give me John Carpenter’s original ‘Thing’ or Stuart Gordon’s ‘Re-Animator’ over CGI-generated horrors any day of Halloween season.
‘Overlord’s opening scene’s a cracker though. We follow Jovan Adepo as an American paratrooper, flying over Nazi-occupied France, only to have his plane hit, forcing him to jump… hang on, wait a second. Haven’t I seen this scene in that Tom Cruise sci-fi ‘The Edge of Tomorrow’?
Oh yeah, still, it’s great to see a horror movie kick off with an action-packed World War II opening clearly influenced by the “drop the audience straight in the action”-style of ‘Saving Private Ryan’. Exhilarating, exciting and excellently put together, the first ten-minutes of ‘Overlord’ rock.
Then it sort of stumbles, with clichéd characters – the tough as nails lead soldier, who really has a heart of gold, the damsel in distress (who, despite needing to be saved three times, suddenly turns into Ripley from ‘Aliens’, and kicks Nazi butt), the wide-eyed raw recruit etc etc.
Okay, all forgivable, all part of the fun. But where ‘Overlord’ lost me was in failing to set up the rules of its game. Remember how in ‘Dracula’ movies the wise old Van Helsing dude lays out the rules? Vampire + sunlight or stake through the heart = dead. Or how werewolf + silver bullet = game over. Or zombie minus head = done.
In ‘Overlord’ the Nazi super soldiers are indestructible and totally, um, destructible all at once. The super-serum doesn’t work, then suddenly does. All forgivable if this was an out and out comedy, but because ‘Overlord’ wants to meld comedy and horror it fails to build any tension or real stakes because it refuses to lay down, let alone play by, any basic rules.
A shame, because the pace and action are handled with deft assurance, and the cast are great, despite the likes of Pilou Asbæk being severely underutilised.
The 100-minute or so run-time is so brief that it really could do with an added 20-minutes of exposition, to set up the rules of the game. Think back on how ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ started with a slam-bam action set-piece, then took its time setting up characters and plot points, all to pay off in the second and third acts.
Then there's the narrative threads and ideas left unexplored - the visual birthing imagery is repeated but to no real end. It's as though the filmmakers really love the 'Alien' movies, but are simply copying elements from them, rather than giving them new life.
There’s also an odd imbalance in the narrative, wherein our hero finds himself inside the church the evil Nazi doctor is experimenting on local people in, but then our hero escapes, only to return in an all too brief third act to take the lab down. It’s as though the film realises it’s reached its climax too early and doubles-back on itself.
Pedantic narrative structure ramblings aside, ‘Overlord’ is always fast and frenetic, with oodles of fun for action and horror fans, but it leaves a lingering regret because it could have been so much better. As it stands, it’s fun but pretty forgettable B-movie schlock, with a superb opening sequence that the rest of the movie just can’t quite match.
Holy moly, that was intense.
Well, now we all know what you get when you cross Saving Private Ryan with The Human Centipede. Something a lot iike World War Z, is what you get. Take out Brad Pitt, throw in some tokenistic attempts to convey occupied France, add Nazis, and this is the result. What does it have? Nonstop action. What doesn't it have? Any kind of depth beneath its initial momentum. But it is spectacular, and it is constantly entertaining.
B grade entertainment
Was unsure as to what to expect going into this film and am still left a little unsure. Was filmed really well and acting was great but was left feeling there could of been more! Was nice to have some humor to break up the gore and horror but wish i could of seen more of the experiments and the super soldiers to be honest. Still an entertaining watch and and enjoyed the film but was lacking in certain places.
I was expecting this movie to go a lot more off the rails than it actually did. It played its cards well and kept its dignity while still being a insane Nazi zombie shlockfest. The wartime medical experimentation is legit freaky, I'm surprised what they snuck through an R16 film. Please stop finding new ways to make Nazis terrifying, my little heart can only take so much
A good bit of entertainment
If you're not looking for anything too deep and meaningful to while away a couple of hours, this could be the one for you. It has guns, motorbikes (well a sidecar) and reanimation. While the ending was a bit predictable the overall movie was enjoyable and definitely delivers with the blood and guts (and bits of brain). I would probably even watch it again.
Takes awhile to get into its stride
Overall a pretty good film, I found it a little slow to get into, but once it got going the gore and action was great. I too found the dumbing down of WWII as a slight let down, but I knew this wasn't going to be historically correct drama going into it. Enjoyable without being over-the-top gore
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