Directed By: Julius Avery
Starring: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Olivier, Pilou Asbæk, John Magaro, Iain de Caestecker, Bokeem Woodbine, Jacob Anderson, Dominic Applewhite, et.al.
Rating: R
Grade: B-

Shortly before D-Day in World War II, a group of American soldiers are sent on a mission in German-occupied France to destroy a Nazi radio tower set up in small town church. When their unit is ambushed and their captain is killed, the rest of the unit attempts to complete the mission. After convincing Chloe, a local French woman, to shelter them while they figure out how to access the radio tower. During a recon mission to figure out the best way to approach the destruction of the tower, Boyce, one of the soldiers, finds his way into the tower, where he discovers that the Germans have been experimenting on the locals. Freeing one of his captured unit members and stealing a vial of the serum being used, Boyce returns to Chloe’s house, where he’s forced to use the serum on one of his fellow soldiers, and sees firsthand the terrifying truth behind the Nazi occupation of the village. Realizing there’s more at stake then a simple radio tower, the remaining soldiers try to formulate a plan to destroy the lab, and everyone involved with it.

A good two-thirds of this movie plays out like a fairly standard war movie, to the point where the monster-movie plot almost seems like an afterthought. Once they reach that point, they seem to rush through the rest of the movie, relying mostly on jump scares and very little suspense. At certain times, it’s more suspenseful wondering if the soldiers will be found out by the Nazis than what’s going to happen with the zombie/vampire/super soldiers. In a way, the movie sort of works as an arthouse-ish thriller, however, the trailers wouldn’t have helped with the casual viewer looking for a standard horror film, as most of the footage was taken from the back third of the movie. So far as the acting is concerned, all of the actors do well with their roles, and anyone using an accent other than their own manages to do well with it.

The special effects are fairly decent in quality, though it looks like they tried to use practical effects for most of the monsters, and the background filler isn’t noticeable.

Diehard fans of JJ Abrams brand of monster movies (he’s a producer) should enjoy this, as well as anyone who doesn’t mind a slower burn to their horror/thrillers. Anyone else should keep in mind that it takes a little time to get past the war movie aspect to the action. Those considering showing this to someone on the younger side might want to watch it first to see if it’s going to alright for them.

Overlord is currently available free to stream through Amazon Prime and Hulu, and it can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line/digital retailer.

I’m always looking for new things to watch/read, so if you have a suggestion for me, just let me know!



Directed By: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Starring: Dave Bautista, Brittany Snow, Angelic Zambrana, Jeremie Harris, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Alex Breaux, Arturo Castro, et.al.
Rating: TV-MA
Grade: C+

Grad student Sophie and her boyfriend get off the subway in her neighborhood to visit her family, and they find themselves in a literal war zone. When her boyfriend is killed, Sophie attempts to make her way to her grandmother’s house only a few blocks away. After a run-in with some local thugs, Sophie meets Stupe, a retired veteran trying to make it to his family in Hoboken, and begs him to accompany her to find her family. Finding her grandmother dead, Sophie heads to her sisters, where they manage to capture and interrogate one of the invading militia men, who tells them that several of the US states have declared their intention to secede from the Union, and that the attack on Bushwick was meant to soft-target invasion to pressure the president to sign the secession papers. Armed with this information, Sophie, her sister, and Stupe attempt to gather a group of people to fight back and make their way to a safe evacuation point at a nearby park.

When taken at face value, this isn’t a bad movie. It was a relatively low-budget feature, and they did the best they could with what they had, though you get the sense that with a proper budget, they could have made a fantastic cautionary tale. Bautista and Snow make the most of what they’re given to work with, which sadly isn’t much. The two have a decent chemistry nonetheless, and work well together. One fun fact: a majority of the movie takes place in one long shot (or at least is edited to give the appearance that it does).

The special effects are okay, and from what I could tell, the background filler isn’t noticeable.

Action fans with 90 minutes to spare should enjoy this. The plot isn’t overly complicated, and as long as you don’t mind a melancholy ending, it’s actually a somewhat enjoyable popcorn flick. Despite the nature of the film, there isn’t much blood or gore, and it mostly gets its rating from language and one suggestive scene, so it should probably be okay for kids to watch along with their parents.

Bushwick is currently available free to stream through Netflix, and it can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.
I’m always on the lookout for new things to watch/read, so if you have a suggestion for me, just let me know!