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TADFF Review: ‘Overlord’ is a WWII Action-Horror with a Brass-Knuckle Punch

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Overlord

As Overlord opens, we are shoved into a plane stuffed with anxious paratroopers, waiting to be dropped outside enemy lines the night before D-Day. The men have a crucial mission to destroy a German radio tower in an old church (the success of the seaborne invasion depends on it), and tensions are high as they nervously prepare. We spend brief moments with the men – some barely hiding their anxious terror, others posturing with cocky bravado.

It is here that we are introduced to the first horrors of Overlord. As planes are shot down around them, the men prepare to jump – their chances of survival plummeting with each passing second. Their fear is palpable, and the reality of this scenario is sobering and devastating.

via Paramount Pictures

This is a bold opening that prepares us for the following intensity and sets the tone for each character we’re introduced to on that flight. We’re shown that explosives expert Cpl. Ford (Wyatt Russell – Black Mirror, Lodge 49) is an edgy man-on-a-mission, a lone wolf with nothing to lose; Pvt. Boyce (Jovan Adepo – The Leftovers, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) is our relatable everyman with a good heart and strong conscience; Tibbet (John Magaro – The Big Short, Carol) is the loudmouth, watch-your-own-ass soldier archetype we so often see in film; and Chase (Iain De Caestecker – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) is way out of his depth in this violent world of war.

As the men prepare to complete their mission and take out the radio tower, Boyce uncovers a horrible secret about the German base; the Nazis have been conducting monstrous experiments on their prisoners.

Now, it’s worth a reminder that – while not quite as fantasy-level nightmarish – this highly unethical scientific experimentation did actually occur during WWII. Overlord stomps on the throttle of this horrific truth to create tragic abominations that will haunt your dreams.

via Paramount Pictures

The cast finds balance in the strong-willed Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier – The Misfortunes of François Jane), a civilian who has witnessed and been subjected to the Nazis’ cruelty during their invasion of her town. Chloe is resourceful, fierce, and capable. She’s not placed in the story as a damsel to be saved or wooed; she’s a key player in the development of the plot with her own skills and motivations.

Pilor Asbæk (Ghost in the Shell, Game of Thrones) plays Dr. Wafner, a villain so perfectly evil it’s almost cartoonish. Writers Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games) and Mark L. Smith (The Revenant, Vacancy) went all out, checking every single box on the “awful villain” list to ensure that we really hate this guy. When paired with a forceful performance from Asbæk, it works deliciously well. He’s a vile character and the perfect super evil Nazi villain for such an ambitiously violent film.

And yes, there is a ton of violence. Overlord has earned its R rating with vicious brutality and genuinely shocking moments of body horror. Director Julius Avery lovingly delivers the most intense transformation scene that horror audiences have witnessed in a long time. It’s gnarly as hell and incredible to watch.

via Paramount Pictures

Overlord circles a concept that was phrased so eloquently by Winston Churchill; fear is a reaction, courage is a decision. Even when faced with a seemingly unstoppable threat (that truly, effectively feels insurmountable), our soldiers know that failure is not an option. They’re not an elite squad of highly trained professionals – they’re just men who have been thrust into this mission where the stakes are impossibly high.

As an audience, you can get swept away by the big-budget action sequences and visceral gore. Really, really easily, actually. They’re very well done. But Overlord’s base instincts are very human; you feel invested and concerned for our heroes and their mission.

via Paramount Pictures

That said, the J.J. Abrams-produced Overlord certainly has a target audience. Fans of the horror (and action/horror) genre and anyone that has enjoyed the Nazi Zombie maps in Call of Duty will surely have an absolute blast. Those in search of a period piece with a bit more flavor will likely not find this to their taste.

In the ring of action/war movies, Overlord is brass-knuckle boxing. Though the form is surprisingly polished, its hits reverberate with a brutal force that will knock the wind right out of you.

Overlord (recently praised by Stephen King) had its premiere at Fantastic Fest before moving to Toronto After Dark in October.
You can find it in theatres on November 9th, and find the trailer and poster below.

 

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Doug Bradley Wants To Play Pinhead Again In A ‘The Scarlet Gospels’ Movie Adaptation

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This is exciting news for fans of the actor and the franchise. In an exclusive interview with Bloody Disgusting, Doug Bradley says, I certainly never say never. I’ve never said I was done with it. Check out more of what he says in the interview below.

Movie Scene from Hellraiser (1987)

Doug Bradley says, “I certainly never say never. I’ve never said I was done with it. I’ve never said I’m retired from it. I’m sensible about these things, too. I was in my mid-30s when I first played the character, and I was just turning 50 when I played him the last time. I ain’t in that age range anymore. I’m now in my 70th year, and to some extent, I think special effects makeup is a younger man’s game.”

Movie Scene from Hellraiser (1987)

Then, when talking about a movie adaptation of The Scarlet Gospels, he says “If we did that, we could maybe present an older Pinhead to be aware of the fact that I am the age I am, that time and gravity does what time and gravity does. An older, darker Pinhead would intrigue me, one not so much in love with the flippant one-liners and the witty comebacks and so forth.”

Deleted Scene from Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1988)

The Scarlet Gospels is a novel written by Clive Barker that was published in 2015. It served as a continuation of his novel The Hellbound Heart and the Harry D’Amour stories. The book followed the story of the Hell Priest, the demonic Cenobite nicknamed “Pinhead”, and his efforts to gain power. Occult detective Harry D’Amour must journey into Hell to rescue his friend and stop the Hell Priest’s plans.”

Movie Scene from Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

While Bradley does state he is too old for the role, The Scarlet Gospels follows an older pinhead which would work perfectly for the actor. Are you excited about the news of him playing the character again if this adaptation happens? Let us know in the comments below.

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Season 5 of HBO’s ‘True Detective’ Is Greenlit

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True Detective Season 5

Whether you liked Issa López’s interpretation of HBO’s True Detective: Night Country, the streamer has given her the go-ahead for another season, the fifth for the long-running series.

That’s right López will once again take the reigns of True Detective which HBO says the Night Country installment was its most-watched season of the creepy series to date, with its finale (aired on February 18) getting the highest viewership numbers since its premiere in January.

True Detective
True Detective: Night Country

“From conception to release, ‘Night Country’ has been the most beautiful collaboration and adventure of my entire creative life,” López told Variety. “HBO trusted my vision all the way, and the idea of bringing to life a new incarnation of ‘True Detective’ with Casey, Francesca and the whole team is a dream come true. I can’t wait to go again.”

True Detective: Night Country Official Trailer

Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming added, “Issa López is that one-of-a-kind, rare talent that speaks directly to HBO’s creative spirit. She helmed ‘True Detective: Night Country’ from start to finish, never once faltering from her own commendable vision, and inspiring us with her resilience both on the page and behind the camera. Alongside Jodie and Kali’s impeccable performances, she’s made this installation of the franchise a massive success, we are so lucky to have her as part of our family.”

López was very verbal on social media about doing Night Country, from the announcement she got the gig, until its completion. You might know her work outside of HBO starting with the sublime 2017 supernatural thriller Tigers Are Not Afraid.

Some viewers were divided on the supernatural direction Lopez took True Detective, but the overall consensus is that it was a great twist to an already phenomenal series.

True Detective: Night Country stars Jodie Foster and Kali Reis as two investigators examining the strange mass death of an Ennis, Alaska research team who may or may not have succumbed to a curse perpetuated by the indigenous people of the area.

There is no word yet on plot details but keep checking back with us and we will keep you posted.

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Josh Brolin Replaces Pedro Pascal in New Zach Cregger Film ‘Weapons’

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josh brolin

Horror fans who loved Zach Cregger’s Barbarian will be excited to hear that his new project Weapons is still in active production. An exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter states that Josh Brolin is in negation for the film’s lead role.

The role was originally meant for Pedro Pascal (The Last of Us) but a scheduling conflict with the new Fantastic Four film has caused him to leave the project. This is an interesting decision on the part of Pascal. The Fantastic Four film franchise hasn’t exactly gone well in the past. But hey, there’s a first time for everything, right?

Pedro Pascal
Pedro Pascal

Luckily, Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War) is showing up to fill the position. Horror fans have been wildly excited about the new project from Zach Cregger, even though very little is known about the project.

The Hollywood Report states that the film is ‘an interrelated, multistory horror epic that tonally is in the vein of Magnolia“. And I’ll be honest, I have no idea what that means, but it sounds amazing. If anyone can pull off a film like that, it’s Josh Brolin.

Josh Brolin

This would technically be Josh Brolin’s first horror film. The actor has been known to be very picky about who he worked with in the past. Fans are taking this as an indication that the film will be well written. Or at the very least, have an original concept.

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