Director: Doron Paz, Yoav Paz
Starring: Yael Groblas, Yon Tumarkin, Danielle Jadelyn, Dibi Ben-Yosef, Ido Di Capula
On judgement day, hell shall inherit the earth
Sarah has been through some rough times after the death of her brother. To get away from the grief, she and her friend Rachel goes on a summer vacation to Tel Aviv in Israel. On the plane to Israel, they become friendly with a handsome anthropologist and they decide to skip Tel Aviv and rather head out to Jerusalem.
They are having the time of their life until weird stuff starts to happen around the city. They could not have chosen a worse time to visit the city as the apocalypse itself unfolds right in the center of the city. The end of the world is starting and the only way to have a chance of survival is to get out of the city before it is locked for good or destroyed from the inside.
Before I saw this film at this years Ramaskrik festival, I checked out the trailer and was not all that interested in seeing it. The idea of shooting it through Google glasses seemed like a cheap and terrible gimmick that I had no interest in watching. The fact that it was made and shot in Israel however convinced me to suck it up and give it a chance and I have to say, I’m happy that I did.
The story is very big, it is after all the end of the world you know. The filming through the Google glasses didn’t annoy me. In fact, some of the features of the damn glasses looks fun… yeah, I am a nerd. It doesn’t distract from the story and the way they incorporate them into it is believable. I did not hate it at all.
The first person view also works here since the story is so huge and the filmmakers did not have a budget to show it all off. I haven’t seen Cloverfield, but from what I have read about it, this could probably be compared to it as this also have big monsters going around destroying the city and characters filming it while trying to avoid getting slaughtered. I do think that if they had the budget to do this in full scale and show all the monsters more, it would probably turn more into a fantasy film instead of being a scary monster flick.
The second thing that makes this a bit unique is the location. It is filmed in Jerusalem and they take full advantage of the beauty of the city. It’s refreshing to see new places and since the story is also based on Jewish folk-lore, it just makes sense and feels right for the film to take place there. It was also a nice touch to make us explore the city through the eyes of American students, although I’m sure they made them American just so it is easier to sell the film internationally.
Danielle Jadelyn and Yael Grobglas stars in this film as the friends Sarah and Rachel. They are based on the cliché horror film female characters as the shy, broken one and the slutty one, but they are both more than just stock characters and they make them believable. There are some decisions made by Sarah that are just plain stupid though and feels like an easy way to put the characters into more dangerous situations.
Jeruzalem is the first horror film from the Paz brothers and even though it isn’t a great movie, it does have new things to offer. It actually feels a lot like a film that Blumhouse would release and I am surprised that they haven’t jumped on the opportunity to secure the American release rights for it yet as it would fit perfectly in their catalogue. So that should tell you what to expect, Jeruzalem is worth a watch or even a blind buy.