Overlord: Relive The Best & Most Harrowing Opening Scene of 2018 (4K Blu-ray Review)

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Produced by J.J. Abrams and directed by Julius Avery (Son of a Gun), OVERLORD lands on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD February 19 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Here is my review:

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Nothing can prepare you for the mind-blowing mayhem that is OVERLORD, an insanely twisted thrill ride about a team of American paratroopers who come face-to-face with Nazi super-soldiers unlike the world has ever seen. OVERLORD stars Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Pilou Asbaek, John Magaro, Bokeem Woodbine and Mathilde Ollivier.

Review

The opening sequence of Overlord features a group of WWII American soldiers preparing to jump from an airship that is taking heavy fire from enemies below. This opening sequence is one of the most horrifying and thrilling action scenes of 2018. Director Julius Avery managed to capture the horror of war in a way that very few movies have been able to do since Saving Private Ryan. It’s truly that good and it’s that traumatic. If anything – it sets the pace for what turns into an action/thriller/horror/sci-fi mashup for the ages as Overlord puts the viewer on a harrowing journey behind enemy lines as these American soldiers soon discover a Nazi base where the experiments are turning locals into mutated monsters.

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We’ve seen war films explore the supernatural before, even in the same year with the Canadian indie flick Trench 11 (which was also fantastic – read my review for that HERE), but Overlord manages to capture this moment in time when cinema wasn’t afraid to swing for the fences and audiences were willing to go along for the ride with very little reservations. If this movie felt like a grindhouse affair in many ways, you wouldn’t be wrong — I believe Overlord owes a lot to those kinds of movies because in a way it felt like an extended episode of Tales From The Crypt (albeit with a super-sized budget). The performances were kinda all over the map which was my only criticism, but I did love Wyatt Russell’s gruff portrayal as the leader who will do anything to get the mission accomplished even if it means being an asshole. I also got a kick out of Pilou Asbaek, but that’s because Pilou can do NO wrong in anything he’s a part of. Seeing him don the Nazi uniform and eventually something else less pleasant really gave the film a villain that fans love to hate.

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Some people may have issues with the genre-bending from action to horror, but the way that Avery directed this sucker – he wound up making the “War-only” aspects of the film just as, if not equally as frightening as the monster moments. That opening sequence has NO MONSTERS and it’s one of the scariest and most unsettling things you’ll ever see in a movie. War is horror, so seeing Overlord bounce back and forth wasn’t an issue for me. If anything I long for more films just like this one and I’m happy that we had such a hidden gem of a flick like this come out in a year where modern grindhouse films dominated 2018.

Rating:

Special Features

The Horrors of War

  • Creation
  • Death Above
  • Death on the Ground
  • Death Below
  • Death No More
  • Brothers in Arms

The special features included in the Overlord blu-ray are fantastic. I watched the film on the 4K UHD Blu-ray so I was fortunate enough to have that incredible cover art with the blood parachutes which pays homage to that bonkers opening. You’ll only get the above featurettes on the standard or UHD blu-rays as well so I’d recommend sticking with those because you’ll want to know more about the making of this film after seeing it. My personal favourite is the ‘Death Above’ segment for obvious reasons but you can blow through all of them fairly quick and I recommend you do.

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