Overlord is a 2018 war-horror film directed by Julius Avery and written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith. It stars Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, John Magaro, Gianny Taufer, Pilou Asbæk, and Bokeem Woodbine. The film was produced by J. J. Abrams, through his Bad Robot Productions banner, and Lindsey Weber.
On the eve of D-Day, American paratroopers drop behind enemy lines to penetrate the walls of a fortified church and destroy a radio transmitter. As the soldiers approach their target, they soon begin to realize that there's more going on in the Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. Making their way to an underground lab, the outnumbered men stumble upon a sinister experiment that forces them into a vicious battle against an army of the undead.
Overlord was a film I was extremely excited for. Ever since I saw the first trailer I was instantly hooked. Going into this film I had very high expectations. I'm glad to say that Overlord did not disappoint. It was an action filled gore fest and I loved it. There were a few disappointments I had with the film, but for the most part Overlord is a great film.
I thought the opening scene was great. It kinda felt like Saving Private Ryan in a very good way. I also thought they balanced the two genres of war and horror very nicely. Overlord in its own right is an effective war film while at times adjust being an effective horror film. Now I wouldn't say the film is full blown horror, but there are definitely some moments that will scare you.
With that being said my only two complaints are with the lack of character development and the lack of "zombies." I thought the characters would get a little more development then they did. Especially due to the fact that it is a war film, but they just skim over it. They did give a few of the characters arcs which really helped, but you never really feel that emotion or connection to them that you should. I also would of loved to see a lot more of the "Nazi Zombies." For a film focused around them they aren't shown a whole lot.
With that being said I still thought Overlord was a great film.
The acting was solid. No one felt out of place. I really enjoyed Jovan Adepo and Mathilda Olivier's performances in particular. I also really enjoyed Pilou Asbæk as our villainous character. Again the acting was solid all around.
The plot really divided me. I really enjoyed it, but there are some things I would of liked to be done differently.
I loved the opening scene. It was violent and bloody. I thought it set up the rest of the film nicely. I do wish it was shoot a little bit better. The scene was heavily edited, and it also had shaky cam. At times it was just really incoherent and hard to follow, but I do think that's what the director was going for.
Another problem I had was that the entire first half of the film felt entirely like a war film. That in itself isn't necessarily bad, but when you watch the entire film and realize that they save the real horror for the final act it becomes a little disappointing. I would have loved to see a lot more of the "Nazi Zombies." Spoiler ahead, there's basically only one. I really did enjoy him, but I would of liked to see a lot more.
I thought the horror elements we did get to see were handled nicely. It wasn't full blown horror. There are a few jump scares here and there, but it's not horror in the traditional sense. The way it was shot, the cinematography, and the setting all give this film more of a creepy been to it and a haunting atmosphere. Overlord successfully builds up the suspense and tension that really make this film work.
Again there are some things I would've liked to see done differently, and I really would've liked if there were more of the "Nazi Zombies" and the film added more of the horror elements. With that being said I thought the plot was solid.
Overall I thought this was a great film. As a whole it did not disappoint me. It's not for everybody. If you have a weak stomach I wouldn't recommend you seeing this as this film can get pretty gruesome. But if you do have the stomach for it I would highly recommend you watching it.
The characters don't get a ton of development and the film does suffer a little because of it. I was also disappointed with the way the "Nazi Zombies" were handled as I would of liked to see more of them, but with that being said I thought as a whole Overlord was a great film.
© 2019 Royce Proctor
Sam Shepards from Europe on March 11, 2019:
Nice review, I'm also doing a review on this movie. It could have been better, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. Nazi's and zombies have always made a good mix in video games and a couple of lower budget movies, so it was nice to see a bigger try.