Overlord is an action horror war film set on the eve of D-day. When an advance squad are sent ahead to disable a vital radio relay tower to enable the surprise landing they stumble across a secret Wolfenstein-esque Nazi science program set on reanimating the dead into something beyond human. I absolutely loved this film. The performances all round were excellent, but I felt that Wyatt Russell as Ford, Jovan Adepo as Boyce and Pilou Asbaek as Captain Wafner were three standout performances in particular. The film was suitably tense for the most part but I must admit there was an overuse of the jump scare sound effect telling me when to be scared. It would have been much scarier if the jump scares weren’t preceded every time by an obnoxiously loud sound effect and if the tension was allowed to naturally build to a scare as opposed to what we got.
The characters are a highlight of this film, as we are allowed proper time to learn about and care about them before they begin dropping like flies. Most of the main characters have a trait that defines them and gives them meaning, be it Boyce’s initial reluctance to kill even the captive Nazi, Ford’s understanding of the ugliness of war or Chloe’s immutable instincts to protect her family whatever the cost these characters feel like real people with real flaws. The sound design was also superb, from the horrific gurgles and screeches of the zombie creatures to the haunting soundtrack, the sound design really added to the experience. This could really be felt in the opening paratrooper scene when the group first descends into France.
J.J. Abrams produced this film through his Bad Robot production company, which can really be felt at times. The source of the serum not being revealed and used as sequel bait is a classic Abrams move, but I am glad that his wandering Cloverfield hands only got that far and that he wasn’t able to force another good film into his tangential Cloverfield-a-verse (Cloververse??), thereby lessening the experience. I do wonder though where he would have inserted the obligatory references to Cloverfield in this film. The only issue I really had with this film is that I wish it explored the Nazi zombies a bit more and showed us more of what the Nazis were doing.
VERDICT: Overall, I really enjoyed this film and I would certainly watch a sequel although it doesn’t really need one. 9/10