Plucky American soldiers take on Nazi zombies in Julius Avery's Overlord - but just how scary (and violent) do things get? This World War II-set horror movie from producer J.J. Abrams earned an R rating for "strong bloody violence, disturbing images, language, and brief sexual content" - so you'll probably want to leave the kids at home.
Given Abrams' involvement, Overlord was long presumed to be the fourth movie in the somewhat eccentric Cloverfield franchise, which has so far taken audiences through panicked streets, into an underground bunker, and out into space. However, while there is a fourth Cloverfield movie in development, Overlord is not it. Avery's film stars The Leftovers' Jovan Adepo as Boyce, an extremely green young private who is dropped into Nazi-occupied France as part of a mission to disable a radio tower that has been set up in a church. When Boyce and the rest of his troop land, however, they find that the compound is hiding some truly horrifying experiments.
The trailers for Overlord offered a taste of what's in store: plenty of violence and gore, as well as the ever-terrifying fast breed of zombies, similar to those seen in 28 Days Later. Here we'll break down the exact nature of the scares in Overlord - without giving away too much about the movie's plot.
How Scary Is Overlord?
Overlord has two major jump-scares, both of which are fairly obviously telegraphed, and a handful of smaller shock moments. The jump-scares themselves aren't particularly scary (the two big ones both involve zombie faces popping up with a noise sting), and the film never really stays quiet long enough for them to have much of an impact. Overlord fits into the genre of cheerfully bloody and action-packed horror, with little time spared for creeping dread or trying to make the audience jump out of their seats in terror. If you can handle horror movies like The Thing, World War Z and 28 Days Later, you should be fine with Overlord.
How Violent Is Overlord?
Overlord's horror is mainly violence and gore-based, but while there is a torture scene that involves a character being beaten, there's not much in the way of "torture porn." The violence primarily involves characters been shot, blown up, or stabbed - with plenty of blood splattered around. The movie's main villain (as advertised in the trailers and posters) ends up getting one side of his face shot off, which makes for a pretty grisly spectacle, and there are some creepy moments involving the reanimated corpses in the Nazi laboratory. There are also some body horror elements that result from the zombie serum, which causes one character's body to contort in a pretty gruesome way.
No animals are harmed on-screen in Overlord. At one point the characters discover the remains of a strange hybrid animal, and at another point a character is briefly chased by a dog.
The Rest of Overlord's R-Rating: Sexual Content and Swearing
As mentioned up top, Overlord is also rated R because of its sexual content and language. There's no nudity (male or female) in the movie, nor are there any sex scenes, but there is one disturbing scene in which a character is sexually assaulted as a prelude to rape. The rape doesn't actually take place, but it's strongly implied that the character has been raped in the past.
There's also plenty of strong language in Overlord - as might be expected from a movie that follows a rough-and-ready group of World War II soldiers going up against Nazis and their pet zombies. Be prepared for many sh*ts and f*cks before the credits roll.
In terms of specific phobias, viewers should be aware that Overlord opens with an extremely intense scene of a plane being shot down - shown from the perspective of the people inside the plane. A character vomits profusely during this scene, so viewers with severe emetophobia may want to skip the first ten minutes or so of the movie. The characters travel through a narrow sewer at one point, but there are no intensely claustrophobic scenes. There are also no scenes involving insects or spiders. There are, however, several scenes involving characters being stabbed with large needles, since that's how they become infected with the zombie serum.