Overlord wastes no time in telling you what kind of movie it’s going to be. A no-holds-barred war film that involves Nazi superhumans reads like a typical B-movie on paper, but Overlord has the budget to push the visuals and gore effects to new heights and doesn’t disappoint in that department.
Set in 1944 during the second World War, we’re immediately thrust into an impressive action-packed opening sequence and introduced to the protagonists, as they’re launched out of a plane whilst being shot at parachuting into Nazi territory. Seen mainly through the eyes of rookie soldier Boyce (Jovan Adepo), we literally descend with him and learn that only a handful of men have survived the fall. Amongst them, include the hot-headed Ford (Wyatt Russell), cocky Tibbet (John Magaro) and war photographer Rosenfeld (Dominic Applewhite).
With their mission of destroying a nearby radio tower to allow their aircraft to attack the Nazi’s undetected still firmly in place, they come across an unexpected ally in Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), a young German local who hides them in her cottage (which happens to still be right in the middle of enemy territory). It’s then we learn quite quickly that the Nazi’s have a secret agenda that involves underground experiments, which shows ex-soldiers being subject to a serum that gives them superhuman strength.
That’s all you really need to know story-wise since, well, that’s all there is story-wise. What follows, however, is a fun and adrenalin-charged romp that doesn’t let up until the credits roll. Aussie director Julius Avery shows he’s got the talent to handle proceedings with gusto and confidence even though it’s only his second feature. The action set pieces are well staged and should give horror fans the bloodlust they’re craving.
Another thing Overlord has up its sleeve, and this may not be intentional, is that with an unknown cast it’s slightly unpredictable to know who will fall victim to a Nazi attack next. The outbursts of violence come thick and fast, so you don’t have a lot of time to react to some of the character’s demises, which only makes the proceedings all the more effective.
It was rumoured before its release that Overlord was a continuation of the Cloverfield universe, more than likely because of J.J. Abrams’ involvement. But it’s safe to say that the film stands alone and true to its nature as a good old-fashion B-movie that should be enjoyed for what it is. If you needed a break from the serious side of horror this year, then Overlord will not disappoint.
The movie featured more practical effects rather than the standard CGI effects most movies use. This was done to get a better reaction from the actors involved in the scenes where something gruesome would happen.