It's a shame that "Overlord" has come out now instead of a month ago, because this World War II horror film should have been the Halloween chiller that everybody was talking about.
Instead, it's probably going to be wrongfully ignored in favor of the new cartoon Grinch movie. If you don't have children to worry about, find the time to take in the insane body horror of "Overlord". It's one of the most tense and exciting films of the year.
Set during the Second World War, "Overlord" finds a small squad of American soldiers attempting to take down a Nazi fortress in the middle of a small French town. But buried deep in that fortress is a grotesque menagerie of evil Nazi super science, turning corpses of fallen American soldiers into horrible monsters.
Even as just a war movie, "Overlord" is a sight to behold. It opens with a maddening scene of paratroopers escaping a burning plane, effortlessly capturing the claustrophobia and fear of young soldiers heading off to war in a flying tin can. When the plane is shot down, the young, frightened soldiers we've just met have to survive alone behind enemy lines, relying on their guts, training and each other to try and fulfill their mission.
If director Julius Avery had just continued with that story, "Overlord" would have made for a sold, enjoyable WWII movie. But he instead decides to get freaky with it.
The horror in "Overlord" is gruesome and bloody, befitting the "R" rating. Human bodies warp and contort with a sickening crunch due to the Nazi experiments, and it can sometimes be hard to keep your eyes on the screen. "Overlord" can be quite brutal.
But the brutality is to elevate the already exciting war movie. These are heroic, likable American soldiers, a small brave band pitted against the supernaturally evil, and that is never not entertaining to watch.
A cast of mostly new and small time actors, most of them from television, make up the band of brothers. Actor Jovan Adepo plays the lead character, Boyce, a good man in a bad place, doing what he can to keep himself sane and moral. Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, plays his rougher and tougher commander. And Pilou Asbaek, from "Game of Thrones", is wickedly monstrous as the head Nazi.
It's a new, young cast, but they do quite well with the memorable material.
"Overlord" perfectly blends the tense, fearful action of a war movie with the intense terror of a body horror freakshow, providing one last, entertaining fright before the Christmas movie season kicks in.