Tue | Dec 18, 2018

Cinema Seen | 'Overlord' - action horror at its finest

Published:Monday | November 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
Jovan Adepo as the brave paratrooper in Overlord.

It starts out as a routine mission. In 1944, a year before WWII ends, United States military forces are sent to dismantle a German signal jammer located in a church. They are to get in, take out the device, and get out. However, when only a few soldiers survive after their plane gets shot out of the sky, suddenly things are not so simple. Not to mention the army of excessively strong and incredibly quick zombie soldiers waiting to tear them apart.

A quiet threat looms over the heroes of Overlord. The film saunters you through enemy territory, never once letting you forget that each step the protagonists take could be their last. As you're enraptured by their plight, instilled with a sense of foreboding vigilance, the dangers become a reality in gratuitous fashion. Overlord is a bloody and violent film - that explosively punctuates its tension with moments of sheer joy for any horror fan.

The film has a distinct look about it as well. There are deeply saturated scenes that, placed in the wrong hands, would feel like a film student's excuse for nuanced lighting. Instead, Overlord is the result of that film student's passion, with the skill of a professional and the budget of a major production. Not to mention, it's smart. Were Overlord just the non-stop action and gory thrill ride its preview promised, we could all go home satisfied. Instead, it's a film that allows you to breathe in-between the action, developing its characters, themes, and stakes to make for a much better movie.

Horror when it wants to be, action when it can be, and comedy when it's appropriate. Overlord is all this and more while sending home a message. When you want to defeat an immoral enemy, you have to become the thing you despise and, in the process, try not to lose the values you're trying to protect. It's got well-developed characters and a killer cast to bring them to life, led by Jovan Adepo from Fences who commands the screen fighting Nazi zombies, just as he did going toe to toe with Denzel. The jury's out as to which is scarier.

Rating: Big-Screen Watch