Overlord changes the horror genre

In a horror genre that has experienced a plethora of success in the last decade, the J.J. Abrams produced Overlord is a genre bending movie that offers more than the classic zombie or clown that jumps around the corner to startle the audience for a cheap scare.

Labeled as horror/action, Overlord brings many elements of entertainment to the theatre. In some points, the movie feels like a dramatic war movie that likens itself to the stereotypical action scenes seen in countless war movies over the years, yet the uniqueness of this movie is unearthed in the way that these action filled moments intertwine with horror movie characteristics. It is not a movie for those who want a tried and true patriotic war movie about Operation Overlord and D-Day, and for those looking for a spine chilling terrifying story that will rival the likes of The Conjuring and The Ring: look elsewhere. This movie isn’t aiming to please the die-hard enthusiasts of either genre, it is likely more geared towards the casual viewer who enjoys multiple movie aspects.

Unlike most movies, where the actors or directors are the recognizable names in the credits, the producer is by far the most well known one in the production of Overlord. Producer J.J. Abrams has produced and directed many popular television and movies such as Lost and the reboot of the Star Wars franchise, takes the helm in Overlord, bringing in fairly new up and coming actors to star in his first horror movie as Abrams did when he produced the Star Wars movies with actors John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. Taking two fairly untested actors like Jovan Adepo and Wyatt Russell is a risky yet refreshing choice by the crew in this heavily advertised and anticipated production.
Adepo’s character Boyce is a scared soldier who is more focused on the humanitarian side of war while his costar Wyatt Russell plays Boyce’s comrade, Ford , a dedicated soldier that is willing to risk everything to complete the mission.

The story is centered around Boyce and Ford’s division and their mission to take down the radio tower in a church in France in order for the Allied powers to have air support when they storm the beaches in Normandy later that day. After landing in the small town in which the church resides, Boyce, Ford and the three other men that survived the landing have to hatch a plan to get in the church heavily guarded by Nazi soldiers.

The peak of the story, and the shift into science fiction, comes when a secret laboratory that is testing out the effects of a tar mixture on humans is discovered beneath the church. The group’s mission then becomes a much more difficult one when they discover the lab as they have to choose whether they will destroy the lab and risk their original mission or ignore the lab and let the Nazi’s keep their supposed super soldier zombie serum.

Over all, Overlord is not going to win any Academy Awards for best picture and it probably will not go down as a prestigious war or horror movie. For up and coming actors Jovan Adepo and Wyatt Russell and their relatively untested director, Julius Avery who has a very brief directing resumé, it is an incredible start to a promising career. This story changes what is commonly expected of a horror movie, but at its core it is just a fun adventure for the everyday movie-goer. This picture excels at telling a war story with an interesting twist of horror. Don’t expect anything more.