Spooktober 2018: Overlord – Review

This is definitely not a Cloverfield film and it’s for a very good reason.

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Overlord is a J.J Abrams produced film that is directed by Julis Avery and it stars Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Pilou Asbæk and Mathilde Ollivier. The film takes place on the eve of D-Day, when American paratroopers dropped 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.

Even though going in I knew this was not going to be a Cloverfield film, I was really anticipating this blockbuster. This is Bad Robot’s very first R Rated film that is set in a World War ll setting, which got me very curious. I saw this at the Canadian premiere at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, and I’m very excited to announce that Overlord, thankfully lived up to my expectations. This film kicked all kinds of ass.

First off, Overlord delivers on being such a fun and campy film throughout. Being this is an alternative take on a World War ll flick, Overlord manages to take something out of the ordinary and turn it into such a fun ride throughout. All of the visceral and energetic action adds on to how absurd and graphic the violence was. This movie is Rated R and it sure as hell deserved it’s rating, because this could very well be the most violent studio film in recent memory. While this is a fun and campy film throughout, don’t forget that it’s also a horror film. Overlord manages to be super intense. There are so many well crafted moments of pure horror that will shock and have you invested and riveted for everyone one of the characters. This is why Overlord works better than something like the recent 2018 Predator flick, since they don’t treat everything as a joke.

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While this film may have a very generic story, what makes Overlord work is its characters and the surprising amount of arcs they go through. You get immediately invested in the characters during the first act of the film, so when their situation is filled with action near the end, where there’s basically none stop brutality, you actually care about the emotional stakes these characters have, when their attempting to win at their battles. Not to mention that the characters are also extremely likable and funny throughout the film. 

This is the first film I’ve seen Julis Avey direct and he did one hell of a job here. He takes this crazy concept and runs with it, by making a film he best described as “Indiana Jones on acid”. He enhances everything he knows when playing with campy B Movie cliche’s, and uses them appropriately when the film needs to take things more seriously.

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The performances were also great. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Jovan Adepo in anything and he did a great job leading the film in general. Wyatt Russel is one of the highlights here as he sells his moments by elevating the pre-existing material. Pilou Asbæk plays the villain, and his over the top performance works in the best way possible. His role managed to sell him as being such a delusional madman. And finally, there is Mathilde Ollivier who I have also never seen her in anything before. She stole the show as she plays such a bad ass strong female character. 

The sound design is also top notch. The sound here manages to draw you into the scenes and more, from how it was mixed. The very intense opening scene is a great example of this, which draws you into the craziness of Overlord. The cinematography also looked very grounded This film has a very dark look that fits the films World War ll setting.

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Overlord is not perfect though. The first half is not bad or anything, but it’s also very generic. It kinda disguises itself as a typical World War ll film at first and while it does it’s job and gets you into the film, It’s still very by the numbers. It isn’t until the second act where the film goes all out crazy with the undead aspect. The film itself still works but the second half is definitely better than the first.

Overall, Overlord is such a blast. It manages to be such a fun and campy time while delivering so many intense moments throughout. It’s not perfect, but this is definitely worth seeing when it comes out in November. I can’t wait to see what mystery film J.J Abrams brings us next.

8/10

 

Overlord will be released nationwide on November 9th 2018

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