Julius Avery (director)
07 November 2018 (released)
05 November 2018
It doesn’t take very long to realise that there’s not a lot new in Overlord. It draws from various war and horror film tropes that have been churned over since the genres came to be. The impossible mission, the ill-fitting team plus standard loner, female resistance fighter, evil science, monsters and lots of Nazis. It’s a nerd’s field day but it’s also so massively over the top and enjoyable that no one is going to care one iota about the various influences the writers Billy Ray and Mark L Smith have drawn on.
A not so select group of US soldiers have been ordered behind enemy lines the night before D-Day to knock out a communications point that would otherwise ruin Operation Overlord. They’re a mixed bunch of rookies, experience and the aforementioned borderline psychotic loner Ford (Wyatt Russell).
Flying over France they hit problems and the plane crashes in a forest. Scattered they manage to get some of the team back together but not before Boyce (Jovan Adepo) witnesses Nazi soldiers’ gun down his commanding officer in cold blood. That and another incident a little later are pointers to the direction of this film.
It’s in the forest that they come across Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) who after some convincing takes them to the village where the church is. There’s a palpable air of unease about the place with the compound very heavily fortified and stories of people being taken to the church and never seen again.
With the mission now more or less back on course, time becomes the factor. However the team split and by a very strange set of circumstances Boyce finds himself in the Nazi compound and witnesses some very strange and harrowing things. He escapes and reports back to Ford.
To say much more would give away what is a rollercoaster of horror and bloodletting that for those accustomed to the current tamer horror franchises may come as a real eye-gouger as to what 18 certificate horror is. It’s extreme in the extreme with outlandishly creative body-horror and violence.
But within all the carnage there are the soldiers. They are stock-characters but the writers do manage to lift them above the throwaway so there’s a smidgen of empathy with them as they are repeatedly traumatised through the film.
It’s a fantastically fluid piece of filmmaking from director Julius Avery which doesn’t let up until the end. There really aren’t any dull moments as he deftly blends the brutality and tenser moments. This is one for before, during, and after the pub.