Film Review: Overlord

15:12 November 14, 2018
By: David Vicari

Overlord meshes a World War II action picture with a gory living dead horror movie. It's Saving Private Ryanmeets Re-Animator– and it works. 

It's June 5, 1944, and American paratroopers drop into France on a mission to blow up a German-occupied tower. Many in the platoon don't make it to the ground alive, so it is up to Private Boyce (Jovan Adepo), explosives expert Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell) and a slim ragtag group of soldiers to complete their mission. Helping them is a young French woman, Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), who is handy with both a rifle and a flamethrower.

This suspenseful war film takes a turn into horror when Boyce sneaks into the Nazi compound and discovers horrific experiments being done on prisoners.

One of the screenwriters is Billy Ray, who also concocted the story. He is a filmmaker I admire, having written and directed the engrossing mystery dramas Breach (2007) and Shattered Glass (2003). Here, he writes smart characters and allows the horror elements to slowly develop. It's definitely not a jarring shift in tone like how From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) turns from kidnap thriller to vampire terror. 

Overlord does the cliched do or die mission in its final half-hour, but it's punctuated by the inclusion of undead Nazis. This is an exciting movie with good performances, and it's a hell of a lot better than those lousy Dead Snow movies. 

*** out of four

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