Gobble gobble, motherfuckers! Thanksgiving is finally upon us, and before you know it we’ll be recording our best/worst of the year episode. After you finish stuffing your face with your mother’s dry ass bird, and lumpy potatoes, and before you slip into that sweet, sweet food coma, try to take a minute to think about what you’re truly grateful for. Obviously you’re grateful for another stellar episode of the Who Goes There Podcast; maybe you’re also grateful for knowing that when it seems like Hollywood has run out of ideas they can always just make another nazi film, or a zombie film, or in the case of 2018’s Overlord, a nazi zombie film. (Review starts at 20:43)
Side note: Unfortunately I feel the need to state this beforehand, while no one ever refers to the beings in this film as “zombies”, they’re fuckin zombies. Deal with it, dorks. Is it time to review Santa’s Slay again?
This whole FUCKING TOWN is going to die! It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 189!
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I’m a bit late to the party, but I finally got around to seeing “Overlord” this weekend. The concept of supernatural stuff going on during WWII isn’t a new idea, but there’s plenty of room to explore the premise. From movies like Indiana Jones to video games like “Wolfenstein” there have been plenty of unique […]
We’re well into November now with Thanksgiving right around the corner. While it’s always horror season for true fans, October is the time for slashers for most casual fans. Never fear though… there’s some great stuff coming in the near (and distant future).
Paramount Pictures hoped to avoid the October clutter and catch post-Halloween audiences with Overlord, their WW II-themed horror film from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. The Julius Avery-directed film was riding high off positive reviews out of this past September’s Fantastic Fest, but couldn’t connect with general audiences as it barely topped $10M in its opening weekend. (It could have been worse – Sony’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story only took in $8M.) With a reported budget of $38M, it added another $9M overseas for a global take of $19M. It needs at least $125-150M worldwide to break even. Unless China comes through in spades, chalk this one up as a flop.
There’s a bit of a parallel between Overlord‘s failure to draw in an audience and that of Fox’s The Predator, both films that went for brawn over brains, delivering nonstop action and buckets of fun. While the latter may not have had the full support of the community, Overlord appeared to draw strong positive responses from horror fans across social media platforms and here on Bloody Disgusting. From phenomenal character development to wicked, gross-out effects, Overlord delivered a perfect hybrid between the original Predator, Inglourious Basterds and Re-Animator.
It appears that Paramount sold us horror fans, but missed out on the general public – could they have marketed this as a World War II thriller as opposed to that of horror? It’s quite possible trying to sell both audiences bit the studio in the ass. No matter, Overlord is one of the most entertaining genre films of the year and we highly recommend seeing it.
#Overlord is one crazy ass, nazi-slaying good time. Plays out like Inglourious Basterds took one wrong turn and ran head on into a Re-Animator movie. Gruesome insanity that doesn’t forget the importance of strong characters amid all the chaos. Very much my kinda shit. pic.twitter.com/MC6Qx96roZ
Bad Robot’s long-delayed and rumored about World War Two zombie tale Overlord finished third at the weekend box office while the break-out hits of October, Venom and Halloween (2018), continued to pad their already impressive totals.
Overlord, once rumored to be the fourth installment in the Cloverfield franchise, finished third with a modest $10.1 million dollar debut. The hard-R tale of mad zombie science run amok may have been too much for the average movie-goer (who gave the film a mediocre B Cinemascore rating), but Overlord did score high with critics (the film currently has an aggregate rating of 81% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). The film will certainly earn back all of its production costs ($38 million) once international sales are included, but don’t expect Overlord to perform much better over the coming weeks with continued competition from tent-pole pictures from all of the major studios.
Carrying over their success from October, Venom and Halloween (2018) continued to earn money in November, with an 8th place finish for Venom ($4.85 million) and a ninth place finish for Halloween ($3.84 million). Venom’s domestic total currently sits at over $206 million and the international receipts bring the film well over $670 million dollars. Halloween is beginning to slow down (especially with the direct competition from Overlord this weekend), yet the film crossed the $150 million mark and is very close to $250 world-wide at this point.
In less positive news, the sequel to David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, got tangled up and lost in the plethora of new films and consistent October earners and only made a little over $8 million at the box office. Director Fede Alvarez’s first non-horror entry did not fare well with critics, posting a 43% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The timing of the release was also questionable with Overlord and Halloween targeting similar audiences, not giving the director of Don’t Breathe a chance to bring over fans of his horror material to the franchise. A quick exit from your local cinema all but assured based on the film’s anemic debut.
Speaking of quick exits, if you haven’t had the chance to see Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake, you better get out to the movie theater soon, as the film is only playing in 261 theaters, down 50 from last week. The film has grossed a total of $2 million for Amazon Studios, which never quiet got around to giving the film a wide-release. This isn’t a surprise for horror fans, as even in the horror community, Argento’s films (or those based on his work) are an acquired taste. Look for Suspiria to appear on Amazon Prime very soon.
Stay tuned to Horror News Network for all of your box office news.
In just a few hours, Julius Avery’s Overlord will be storming its way into theaters everywhere, and if you’re into historical horror, it’s most certainly something you’re going to want to experience on the big screen. The first-ever R-rated production out of J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production house, Overlord follows a group of American soldiers as they cross enemy lines on a mission to take down a Nazi base in occupied France, only to discover that they are using local civilians in their twisted medical experiments.
While at a recent press day for the film, Daily Dead had the opportunity to speak with three of Overlord’s co-stars—Wyatt Russell, John Magaro, and Iain De Caestecker—about coming together to form a brotherhood on the big screen for the horror/action hybrid, and how a few days in boot camp prior to shooting really helped them all come together. The trio also discussed how helpful all the practical elements to Overlord were during production, and how Avery made it all come together in the end.
Look for Overlord in theaters everywhere this weekend!
In case you missed it, check here to catch up on our previous coverage of 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 […]
Hitting theaters this weekend is Julius Avery’s Overlord, the first R-rated project out of J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. The film is centered around a group of soldiers who enter occupied France in hopes of taking out a Nazi communications tower, but find themselves in the middle of something far more horrifying than they ever could have imagined—Axis forces conducting grotesque medical experiments on innocent civilians—and they must rise up against evil to put a stop to the Nazis’ reign of terror.
At the press day for Overlord, Daily Dead sat down with two of the film’s co-stars, Jovan Adepo who plays a U.S. soldier named Boyce, and Mathilde Ollivier, who plays a French villager named Chloe, who isn’t taking crap from her oppressors anymore.
During our interview, the duo discussed being able to dig into their characters in Overlord, getting to play badasses for the action/horror mash-up, and how the film’s amazing production design helped immerse them in this world.
Look for more on Overlord tomorrow, right here on Daily Dead!
In case you missed it, check here to catch up on our previous coverage of Overlord.
J.J. Abrams loves horror. Everything he makes involves horror in some way. Whether it’s a big, lumbering monster spewing back-bursting parasites into the subways of New York or a strange island filled with things that don’t belong, horror is everywhere in Abrams’ filmography. Overlord, Abrams’ latest effort as producer, is no different. It follows a group of American soldiers who are trapped behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day and forced to fend off mutant creatures that are the results of sinister Nazi experiments. Much like in all of Abrams’ work, the horror of Overlord exists within the unknown. There’s a great moment in the trailer where the camera slowly pushes in on a wall with a series of holes cut out of its surface as strange and horrific noises grow louder and louder. It’s a cool note to end the trailer on but it also speaks to Abrams’ approach to storytelling.
Yes, I’m talking about the mystery box.
Mystery is the engine at the heart of all great horror movies and there are few filmmakers working today who are as fascinated by mystery than J. J. Abrams. From scoring the 1982 film Nightbeast to naming a Star Wars villain Captain Phasma in honor of his love for Phantasm, the influence of horror can be seen across all his work. Abrams’ entire brand of storytelling is cut from the same cloth as some of the best horror movies. His movies aren’t interested in answers; they know that the mystery inherent to questions is the real source of horror. Abrams isn’t interested in what’s inside the box, he understands that not knowing is far more horrifying.
There’s no better example of Abrams “mystery box” storytelling than Lost. It’s a TV show whose questions outnumber the answers and whose fans remain split in half on the quality of its overall six-season run. Think what you want about the show that came after, the pilot of Lost (the only two hours Abrams was involved in directly) is a perfect, self-contained horror movie. For vast chunks of the pilot’s runtime, we are introduced to new characters and shown examples of the island’s mysterious and sinister nature, but there are two particular moments in the episode that emphasize the power of horror.
Early on, the survivors had been attempting to regroup on the beach when something in the woods somewhat damaged their calm. From their vantage point over the rolling hills and jungle of the island, they could see something barreling towards them, leveling huge swaths of the forest in its wake. It’s a terrifying scene where Abrams builds the tension outwards from the characters who argue about where to make camp towards the woods themselves where something wholly different lives. Like the dock attack scene from Jaws, we see the effects of the monster without actually seeing the monster itself, heightening the suspense. While this scene is terrifying in its own right, the sequence that it sets up later in the pilot is a different beast entirely.
The scene in question shows the monster hunting the survivors as they try and recover the pilot from within the cockpit of the downed plane. Once again Abrams is showing the influence of Spielberg on his filmmaking as he creates suspense through a series of escalating reveals. First, we hear the monster roar, then we see its shadows before building to the climactic moment where the unseen beast rips the pilot out of the plane into the jungle. The scene works in a similar way to the T-Rex paddock attack in Jurassic Park, building the suspense slowly by revealing small parts of the creature, leaving its true appearance shrouded in mystery. It’s a testament to Abrams’ approach to the monster that when its true form was revealed, it lost all sense of horror (although that could also be because it looked a bit rubbish).
In Cloverfield, Abrams took the techniques and ideas he’d explored in Lost and combined them with the trappings of Godzilla to create something completely different entirely. Instead of focusing on the monster and those trying to defeat it like they usually do in monster movies, Abrams saw potential horror in keeping the creature hidden and instead focused on the POV of those trying the survive in its wake. Although not directed or written by Abrams, Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane both have all the trappings of a J. J. Abrams film. Abrams’ central idea for Cloverfield was to take the typical scenes of destruction seen in the Godzilla movies and shift the perspective, placing the viewer into the aftermath; knowing that real horror lies in the chaos created by the attacks. Abrams and Director Matt Reeves sacrificed action in favor of building the suspense, knowing that witnessing the Statue of Liberty’s head being thrown into the street from the perspective of a person on the ground would be scarier than watching the creature rip it off in a wide shot.
And then there’s the subway scene. Like the cockpit sequence from Lost, this scene escalates the horror with a slow series of reveals. The scene begins with strange sounds echoing through the tunnels. Then they see the rats running from something in the darkness. It’s another perfect sequence of horror revealing their situation piece by piece to create suspense until the final night vision payoff.
In the 2001 movie Joy Ride, which Abrams co-wrote, the antagonist is an unseen trucker who lurks in the background much like the monsters of Abrams’ later films. The trucker is an unseen presence whose effects are experienced by the characters, making him an ever-present threat to the protagonists while also keeping his true form hidden from view. Abrams looked to Spielberg’s Duel when writing Joy Ride, attempting to create a villain (voiced by Silence of the Lambs’ Ted Levine) that is less of a physical entity and more of an omnipotent presence within the film.
Everything that J. J. Abrams makes is infused with horror and suspense in some way because his approach to filmmaking has been shaped by the genre. The way Abrams makes movies lends itself perfectly to the horror genre as he withholds information, opting to drip feed the audience details about the monsters slowly through a series of escalating reveals that expertly build suspense. From what we’ve seen so far, Overlord looks set to be the latest in a long line of Abrams projects to use this brand of “mystery box” storytelling.
In his Ted talk on mystery, Abrams talked about how he bought a literal mystery box from a magic store and never opened it. The unopened box is filled with, what Abrams describes as, “infinite possibility and potential” and the same can be said for the darkness within which his onscreen monsters live. J. J. Abrams understands that real horror isn’t the answer to what is inside the box, but rather the unsolved mystery of what it might be.
Paramount Pictures’ Overlord (read our review) played to rave reviews out of the Fantastic Fest World Premiere. Now, the studio has released a handful of clips ahead of this weekend’s release. In the first, two soldiers fight to stay alive in a bunker when something attacks a Nazi from inside a cell. In the second, Jovan Adepo comes across something horrifying, a woman’s head that’s being kept alive by some serum, which leads to him telling Wyatt Russell and the rest of the soldiers what he saw. Watch them all below.
In the Julius Avery-directed film…
“On the eve of D-Day, a group of American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion’s success, but as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. They find themselves fighting against supernatural forces, part of a Nazi experiment.”
Overlord begins its U.S. theatrical run on November 9, 2018.