Com­pletely orig­i­nal ac­tion­ad­ven­ture ride

FANCY a video game?

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - AS­SIS­TANT EDI­TOR Niza G. Mar­iñas by Jeff Ruf­folo

No, I’m not speak­ing of the old 16-bit PC com­puter “first per­son” shoot­ers of the mid-1980s where you creep along from one end of a spooky cas­tle to an­other try­ing to find “powerups” as you fight your way through seem­ingly end­less hordes of pesky crit­ters to “ad­vance” and face the most hideous zom­bie cre­ations.

Nah, I’ve played all of those and then some.

I’m speak­ing of to­day’s pho­to­re­al­is­tic, in­cred­i­bly de­tailed con­sole and PC games that will have you, quite lit­er­ally, at death’s door as you fight back against a mon­strous horde so re­al­is­tic you can smell the de­cay peel­ing off the rot­ten flesh.

This “up close and per­sonal” in­ter­ac­tion awaits you when you take in “Overlord” the lat­est film pre­sen­ta­tion from uber pro­ducer J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek”) and Aus­tralian di­rec­tor Julius Avery (“Son of a Gun”) who will pull you back in time to World War II and drop you

right into their own lit­tle slice of Hades.

Not free of charge, of course. You still have to pluck down your pe­sos and buy a ticket.

And when you do, the the­ater ticket tak­ers should also hand you a ri­fle, hel­met and a strong belt to hold up your pants when you are un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously plopped into a ram­pag­ing fire­fight be­tween Al­lied forces and some­thing else.

Here is the of­fi­cial syn­op­sis: “On the eve of D-Day in 1944, Amer­i­can para­troop­ers drop be­hind en­emy lines to pen­e­trate the walls of a for­ti­fied church and de­stroy a ra­dio trans­mit­ter. As the sol­diers ap­proach their tar­get, they soon be­gin to re­al­ize that there's more go­ing on in the Nazi-oc­cu­pied vil­lage than a sim­ple mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion. Mak­ing their way to an un­der­ground lab, the out­num­bered men stum­ble upon a sin­is­ter ex­per­i­ment that forces them into a vi­cious battle against an army of the un­dead.”

Brrr … creepy stuff huh? Us­ing the pop­u­lar “Call of Duty: Black Ops” PC com­puter game se­ries (of course in “zom­bie mode”) as its foun­da­tion, “Overlord” doesn’t skip on the sus­pense when the four re­main­ing Amer­i­can sol­diers (of the orig­i­nal team of more than 20) join with the French re­sis­tance to battle their way into the church and are con­fronted with some­thing com­pletely un­ex­pected.

Please al­low me to di­gress a mo­ment and share some­thing deeply per­sonal.

I have a brother, five years older than I, who loved to frighten the hair off my young head. One evening, at the tender age of seven, I was pad­ding down a darken hall­way from my bed­room to our liv­ing room when he leaped out at me from the dark­ness as if one of the liv­ing dead. In­stantly cow­er­ing on the ground, my pants quickly wet and soiled, I can still re­mem­ber him hov­er­ing over me, leer­ing, as I wept and pleaded over and over … “please don’t hurt me.”

That feel­ing of com­plete help­less­ness is ex­actly what these few brave men have to face when they find out what the Nazi are do­ing in their ex­per­i­men­ta­tions of lo­cal French res­i­dents.

That’s when the film turns in­stantly from WWII docu-drama to su­per­nat­u­ral sci-fi hor­ror as if you flicked a switch to turn off the lights.

Film hor­ror—as in my own ter­ri­fy­ing real life ex­pe­ri­ences—only works when you are con­fronted with the com­pletely un­ex­pected and “Overlord” de­liv­ers in spades.

Com­pletely orig­i­nal, “Overlord” is an ac­tion-ad­ven­ture ride akin to the very best PR games around.

Spe­cial men­tion needs to be given to Jo­van Adepo (“Fences”) who plays Boyce, a lowly pri­vate who grinds his way through a meat mar­ket of gnarled bones, walk­ing corpses and the most evil Nazis you can swing a swastika at and Wy­att Rus­sell (“22 Jump Street”), as Ford, his com­mand­ing of­fi­cer who also is con­fronted with pure evil.

It wasn’t fair what hap­pened to me as a small boy—be­ing con­stantly ter­ror­ized by my older brother.

But life isn’t fair.

So too is the choice to take in the ex­pe­ri­ence of “Overlord” so please heed this mes­sage from a pre­vi­ously trau­ma­tized young­ster and do not ex­pose your chil­dren (un­der the age of 16) to this movie.

Be­cause one evening, they too may be whim­per­ing in the dark­ness ... “Please don’t hurt me.”

JO­VAN Adepo as Boyce (right) and Mathilde Ol­livier as Chloe in a scene from “Overlord”

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