‘Overlord’: body horror for the masses

Semler at the Cinema features Brandon Semler’s thoughts on the world of film, including reviews, think pieces, previews and more.

By Brandon Semler

“Overlord” layers its genres better than it layers its characters, but serves as an entirely watchable body horror with the spirit of a video game.

Director Julius Avery manages some truly gasp-inducing moments. Using a well-balanced pallet of practical effects/makeup and CG, he creates a clear and nightmarish portrait of the small France town the film is set in, and the large, daunting facility where bad things are happening.

Oh, and the bad things are pretty startling too.

The JJ Abrams-produced film follows a small crew of US troops on D-Day, as they make their way through rural France with a specific mission in mind. “Overlord” plants the seeds of a few themes early on, but when the bloodshed starts, they fly out the window along with any remaining normalcy.

The development of the main character Boyce (played by the impressive Jovan Adepo) is clunky and contradictory. Most characters in the film are largely archtypes for monster/military shoot-’em-ups.

Despite a conventional structure, the film’s energy is contagious. Plus, the story is told with a clarity and focus that seems rare for blood fests.

Status: Recommend for Fans (of body horror, JJ Abrams).

Brandon Semler can be reached at popdiversifies@gmail.com, or on Twitter @BrandonSemler.

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