Jeruzalem (2015) Horror Movie Review
“There are 3 gates to Hell: one in the desert; one in the ocean; and one in Jerusalem.” “Jeruzalem” is the latest found footage flick from Yoav & Doron Paz, from Israel, making its world premiere at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival.
Prior to two American girls’ departure for Israel, one of them receives a set of Smart Glass from her father, and the movie is told from this device’s point of view. They decide to modify their itinerary due to the persuasion of a globe trotter on the same flight, ending up in Jerusalem. As usual, they explore the city, go out to drink and dance, and engage in sexual activity. However, they shouldn’t have visited this ancient city. At least, not at this point in time. Things are about to go tremendously wrong. Demonic creatures, of various sizes, will overtake the city; city which has been quarantined, allowing no one to escape. People who are clawed or bitten by these demons will irrevocably transform into devilish beings themselves. This is not the sight-seeing trip the girls had planned.
I, contrary to more and more people, am a fan of found footage films. I usually find them enticing, often exciting, as whatever danger lurking in the dark will jump out directly at me, the eyes of the main character being my eyes. The idea of having the movie filmed through a Digital Glass headset was interesting, seeing how the electronic glasses used facial recognition to connect to a person’s Facebook account, to take pictures via audio command, and to help navigate the characters to a certain destination. However, “Jeruzalem” fails to deliver on a movie that had so much potential.
For starters, none of the 4 main characters are charming or appealing. You feel no sympathy nor connect with any of them, especially the two girls. Both make stupid decisions throughout the entire movie, screaming and blurting out idiotic comments, and forcefully having you yell “Shut up!” at the screen and crossing your fingers that they will not survive.
Secondly, most of the creatures, despite being somewhat disturbing, could have been even creepier. They seem to be deformed beings with wings, allowing them to fly. So much more could have been done with them, yet maybe one or two impressive shots managed to capture my attention. In addition to this, we see in the distance, once or twice, a demonic giant stomping around the city. Nothing is ever developed concerning this beast and we don’t ever see it again. Come on. Seriously?
Finally, and this is one of the stupidest parts of the movie, a demonic creature should not have any compassion or past memories control anything it does. A possessed being, especially a resurrected one, is entirely controlled by whatever evil spirit is within it. I won’t give anything away, but a scene involving the main character’s deceased brother ruins any credibility that the movie could have had.
All in all, “Jeruzalem” is a movie with some innovative quirks, stunning scenery shots of a gorgeous Jerusalem, but fails to exploit the massive amount of potential it had. Seeing it once will allow you to make your own opinion, but if you decide to avoid it, you won’t be missing out on much. A disappointing 2.5 stars out of 5.