Fantastic Fest — the annual film festival held each year in Austin, Texas — is always packed with intriguing genre offerings, and one of the most intriguing of 2018 was always going to be Overlord, director Julius Avery's World War II thriller from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot productions. The film had its world premiere at the festival Saturday night, and the reactions immediately began rolling in.
Overlord, for those of you who may not have been following along, is about a group of World War II paratroopers who land in Nazi-occupied France ahead of the D-Day landings and discover a German science experiment that's rendered the Nazi soldiers extremely hard to kill. If "Nazi zombies" doesn't necessarily sound new to you, that might just be because you haven't seen it the way Overlord does it yet. We spoke to the film's cast and crew on the Fantastic Fest red carpet before the film began, and you should definitely check out what they had to say about their approach.
Early reactions from critics and fans in attendance at Saturday's premiere emphasize the film's genre madness, its embrace of its B-movie roots, and more. Check out some of the best first impressions from Overlord's first big audience.
Early full reviews have also been positive. Writing at Slashfilm, Matt Donato praised Overlord's full-tilt impact from the very first sequence.
"For a movie that promises Nazi mad scientists and their creations lurking the halls of some creeptacular abandoned church, Overlord packs a superhuman punch that’ll leave a gaping cavity in your chest."
And over at The Hollywood Reporter, John DeFore had kind words for the film's blend of exploitation insanity and mainstream appeal.
"Pairing some of the spirit of schlocky Nazi-sploitation fare with a top-flight young cast and better-than-solid filmmaking, the movie is more mainstream than the midnight fare it sounds like on paper, if only by a bit. Horror fans should cheer, as will admirers of the ensemble's up-and-coming cast."
So, to sum all of this up: Overlord is at worst an interesting midnight movie offering with Bad Robot slickness, and at best a great World War II action-horror thrill ride. Either way, we can't wait to see it.
Overlord is in theaters everywhere November 9.