Released: 6th December
Seen: 3rd December (Advanced Screening)
One of the great joys of doing this is getting to really see some intense hard-hitting films. As I slowly start to finish out 2018 I look back and think about the hard intense thrillers, the powerful dramas, the deep explorations of the human psyche that I have sat through for the last 12 months and after all that it’s about time that I got to have a nice simple movie that I could switch my brain off during and just enjoy for its visceral delight in being over the top… and Overlord provided me exactly that.
Overlord is set during WW2, specifically the day before D-Day, and follows a ragtag group of assorted soldiers who have been given the task of dropping behind enemy lines and getting to a radio tower that they need to destroy in order to make it possible for air support to come in before the big attack on D-Day itself. Along the way, they must not only save a local woman from the horror’s of the Third Reich but they will also discover that the infamous experiments that Hitler’s soldiers are doing on the innocent townspeople are more than just cruel, they’re potentially apocalyptic. Basically, someone heard the phrase “War is Hell” and decided to show us a very specific version of Hell that happened during the war… also a lot of Nazi’s pop like balloons filled with blood and it’s kind of amazing because seeing Nazi’s explode (In film) is generally a good time.
The combination of a war film and a horror film makes a great tone for the movie, allowing the audience to question if the worse evil is whatever malevolent thing is hiding just off screen or if it’s the guy in the SS uniform who is being pure evil because he has power and is also a fascist. It’s almost overwhelming to try and keep up with what you need to be frightened of and for the most part the film balances this quite well, starting off with the main horror being the Nazi’s and slowly introducing the more obviously monstrous evil (At least, more obviously monstrous as far as a horror movie is concerned, there is literally nothing eviler than a Nazi). It also makes sure to jolt you off centre right from the start by introducing a planeload of interesting characters right off the bat and proceeding to make sure you know that this film is willing to do anything to shock you by making half of them vanish.
For the run time of the film, you genuinely have no idea what’s going to happen, this is war after all and casualties are inevitable which is made abundant several times with several key characters. Not only can any character be dispatched at any time, but it will also be viscerally gruesome and make you wince in your seat. There were quite a few moments of this film that would look right at home in an old grindhouse flick, which is just awesome in itself. Make no mistake, this film is brutal and unrelenting and is trying to actively horrify you but it’s hard to deny that it’s also so over the top that it becomes entertaining after a while.
Some sequences are not exactly as good as the rest, I’m not going to lie that I wasn’t exactly fond of a scene where we’re meant to in some way sympathize with a Nazi (Because, spoilers, that ain’t happening) and I do wonder how some characters were still alive at certain points, but for the most part the film is enjoyable enough that the flaws can be quickly overlooked. They have to be quickly overlooked because by the time a flaw is noticeable, there’s a bunch of Nazi’s being shot and you’re distracted from your critique.
To put it bluntly, this is not a film that really needs to be taken seriously. It’s not giving you some blistering critique on a situation, it’s not trying to pull at your heartstrings, it’s an extreme horror film set during WW2 where we get to enjoy the sight of Nazi’s getting the crap kicked out of them which you will definitely enjoy. It’s a good fun film with a good fun script and good fun effects, that’s all it needs to be.
What did you think of Overlord? What’s your favourite Horror/War movie? Let me know in the comments below