Horror Movie Review: Overlord (2018)

“A thousand year Reich needs thousand year soldiers”

Overlord is a 2018 American war horror film directed by Julius Avery and written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith.
On the eve of D-Day, the 5th of June, 1944, a paratrooper squad, led by Sergeant Rensin, is sent to destroy a German radio tower in an old church. However, their plane is shot down before they can reach their target, leaving only five apparent survivors. Corporal Ford and soldiers; Boyce, Tibbet, Chase, and Dawson. Dawson is quickly killed by a landmine but the team continues onward. They run into a French woman named Chloe who agrees to take them into her village where the radio tower is located.

The soldiers learn that Chloe lives with her 8-year-old brother Paul and her aunt, who has been disfigured by Nazi experiments taking place in the church. After Tibbet and Chase depart to check the scheduled rendezvous site, the remaining soldiers are forced to hide in the attic when a Nazi patrol performs a routine inspection. When SS Hauptsturmführer Wafner blackmails Chloe for sex, as he’s seemingly done before, Boyce and Ford stop him first and capture him.

Attempting to reach the rendezvous point, Boyce witnesses the Nazis burning disfigured village residents. He is chased by a dog and is forced to take refuge in a truck carrying the bodies of some of the other paratroopers. Once inside the base, Boyce learns that there are various experiments taking place in the lab, based around a mysterious liquid compound the Nazis discovered by distilling an ancient tar from under the church through human bodies. Boyce takes a sample of the serum and rescues Rosenfeld, another member of the paratrooper squad who was captured by the Nazis, and escapes the church.

Back at the attic, Wafner refuses to explain what the serum is when questioned and is subsequently beaten by Ford. As the squad prepare to assault the church, Wafner attempts to escape, shooting and killing Chase in the process, driving Boyce to use the serum on Chase after his death. The serum restores Chase to life, but he immediately begins to mutate, showing inhuman strength, a resistance to gunfire, and turns hostile. This forces Boyce to pulverize Chase’s head to stop him. In the midst of the chaos, Wafner escapes while taking Paul as a hostage, although part of his face is blown off by Ford in the subsequent shootout.

With time running out until the deadline when the radio tower must be destroyed, Boyce convinces Ford that destroying the laboratory has to be their priority.

Will they be able to destroy the base and save Paul in time? Watch and find out.

Overlord has a more or less unique concept that I definitely enjoyed. The mix up of horror and history is always a winner and there certainly isn’t nearly enough films that explore nazi experimentation. However, despite having a solid story in place, certain characters naivety can be very frustrating at times.

The effects are hit and miss which impacts the gore and brutality. I’m a champion for practical effects and stand by the notion that CGI will never be an improvement on makeup. Although I found the deformities to be nasty and great to see in a big movie, I feel they could have gone even further with it. You never truly get that huge, resident evil-esque, monstrous transformation.

Lastly, there are a few loose ends that bug me. One major one is Chloe’s aunt is set up as being a potential threat but we only see one scene with her deformity on display and then she’s gone for the rest of the film with no explanation.

Overall, Overlord is not very memorable unfortunately. For those of us that have played Wolfenstein it’s not as innovative as it would have you believe. But in terms of mindless entertainment, it’s enjoyable and fun. Although killing Nazis that are performing human experiments, would win anyone over. A cross between Resident Evil and Wolfenstein that doesn’t quite go far enough to match that comparison fully.


  • Sally Powell

    Editor/Writer - Stay at home mum educating the horror minds of tomorrow. If it's got vampires or Nicolas Cage in it, I'm sold. Found cleaning bums or kicking ass in an RPG. (And occasionally here reviewing all things horror and gaming related!)

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