I’m not being overly dramatic here, but Overlord could be a dark horse contender for my film of the year. What a terrific surprise it turned out to be! I’d been quietly optimistic in the build up to it’s release – I’ve a bad habit of expecting the world from horror films and then the final product almost always comes up short. So I was thrilled when the film blew my socks off.
Overlord follows a group of US soldiers in occupied France in WWII. For fear of spoiling anything, I shall say no more. I truly think this is one of those films where the less you know about it going into it, the better it will be. I knew a tiny bit and had a blast, and can only imagine that had I have known as little as some of the people in the same screen as me, my head would have positively exploded.
One of Overlord’s strengths, I believe, lies within the fact that it boasts a relatively unknown cast. Jovian Adepo and Wyatt Russell (son of the great man, Kurt) play American soldiers Boyce and Ford. The pair couldn’t have been more mismatched. Boyce didn’t look like he’d ever held a rifle before in his life, whereas Ford was far more battle hardened. The performances both actors gave were massively complimentary of the other, and did a great job of portraying soldiers’ camaraderie on screen.
Mathilda Olliver played Chloe, one of the villagers in the German-occupied territory. She was everything I want female characters in any films to be – absolutely fabulous in every way imaginable. Chloe was just doing what she had to do in order to get by, and Olliver showed some serious grit and determination in the performance she gave as she did this.
Plot was another element that worked terrifically well for me. It’s the nature of these types of films that has never really worked for me in the past. I’ve never been able to find a real purpose for the events that have taken place. But with Overlord, there was a strong reason for why everything was happening, whether that be arguments between the soldiers or other, much wider elements of the film.
Dare I say it, but it even felt rather plausible too, which is something else that captured my heart here. Yes, some bizarre – and I mean BIZARRE – things happened, but life has a tendency to be stranger than fiction, so I was quite happy for the film to play with my imagination.
Many technical aspects went hand in hand with the storytelling. In particular, the choppy editing style took action scenes to a new level, and often had me feeling as disorientated as the soldiers in the film itself. I found it also caused an increased sense of panic, meaning I got the rush of adrenaline I’d hoped this film would give me and more.
So there you have it. Overlord is 1 hour and 49 minutes of pure madness that works brilliantly. I wish I could go into more depth, but I honestly think that going into this film blind is the best thing you could do. All you need to know is that you have awesome performances and terrific storytelling to look forward to when you get there, along with a hell of a lot more than you could have ever hoped for in my opinion.