Horror has the potential to stretch the genre into several areas, but despite it's popularity, many people tends to stick to formula. It's something that I can't blame on filmmakers, as each horror story is an extension of their own fear. No matter what their afraid of, translating it to a visual medium is tricky, as they have to find a new way to tell it. What I mean about stretching the genre is that they tend to make it scary…and that’s about it. We've seen horror romances (Dracula), horror comedies (Evil Dead 2, Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil), but what about horror action?
With the exception of the Resident Evilmovies (which I haven't seen a single one), blending these genres isn't easy. Horror tends to rely on tight spaces and psychological fear while action tends to involve a large group of people and making the setting as large as possible. It's difficult to generate fear within a large space, but it can be done. With today's movie, we tapped into the fear of what our enemies were working on that we never saw. There are a lot of conspiracy theories about Nazi's developing magic, science-fiction technology and dealing with the dead. We get a look at that in Overlord.
During a raid over France, paratrooper Ed Boyce (played by Jovan Adepo) is flung out just as his plane was attacked. He manages to land without any damage, but he's know behind enemy lines. He manages to find fellow paratroopers Tibbet, Chase, Dawson, and Corporal Ford (played by Wyatt Russell). They make their way to a local village where a young woman Chloe (played by Mathilde Olliver) takes them in. her parents have been taken away, leaving her only with her little brother Paul, and her Aunt who she claims to be "sick".
Some men leave the place to inspect the village, hoping to find a way to escape to the rendezvous point. The others stay behind where they manage to take a Nazi SS Hauptsturmführer prisoner. Boyce, one of the inspecting soldiers, finds Nazis burning disfigured people, which lead him to finding a lab under the church. It seems that experiments are being performed to resurrect the dead and give them inhumane strength. He brings samples back to the house where the troop hopes to find answers, but cause chaos where the Nazi escapes with Paul in tow. It's up to them to make a rescue while experiencing the horror of the undead.
Overlord feels a lot like a good "run and gun" video game; it has a great setting with a lot of creative action going on. It sounds like an entertaining movie and it is. I'm sure there are a couple of undead Nazi movies out there on Netflix, but this is certainly the first I've seen done in a mainstream fashion. The best element is the atmosphere, which balances out when it needs to be scary (like when our characters are sneaking around), gross (when the experiments are revealed) and warm (when the soldiers are talking with Chloe).
Where the movie does fall is with the characters. While their not bad or even that forgettable, they were still a bit stale. Like you tell that Wyatt Russell is the no nonsense guy, Jovan is the "quiet with a heart of gold" man, and the Nazi is the evil man. Even Chloe tends to be the quiet pretty girl who occasionally does something badass. I think more could have been done when it came to their discovery of the experiments and whether someone would have wanted the US to be conducting similar experiments.
I'll give this four zombie Nazis out of five. Its an easy movie to digest and is even a fun one. You get exactly what you expect and then it ends. I think even the movie is aware of it's easy task of being a rush. I don't have much else to say other then it's fine. Go see this and take the shot.