Jeruzalem (2015) film thoughts... Here is a film that has been getting some major buzz due to the fact that it's a horror film made in Israel. As one who likes to see films made outside of the USA, I fast tracked this one to check out. Two college age girls (who right from the beginning you know they come from a life of plenty and without want) are set to travel to Tel Aviv for a period of sight seeing and partying. On the flight, they meet a handsome young man, who is traveling to Jerusalem to further his archeology studies. He convinces them to travel with him, as he promises more interesting sights. As time passes, strange things start to happen in the city and somehow evil is unleashed, taking over people and turning them into demons. That's it. Credits.
Ok, this is not going to win awards for originality though they do try to do another take on the found footage angle (even though this is not a found footage film per se). It's shot entirely through a first person perspective, the lead actress is wearing a Google Glass type device. The main problem with the film is the pacing. The entire first 45 minutes of the film is just them having a good time and seeing the sights. Mind you, you see a lot of modern Jerusalem, so as a travelogue film, it does it's job. It's just we are supposed to be watching a horror film. We get a taste of what is supposed to come in a very well done prologue (I wish the rest of the film was like this) but by the time we get to the real action, you are bored to death by these characters you just don't care about. It must be noted that the heavy CGI used in this film is truly abysmal. The demons look fake and are not frightening. The film just follows the standard cliches of the modern horror film, jump scares, one character's predictable conversion (slowly to drag it out, with the main character asking, "Are you OK?" every minute) to a demon, etc. No surprises here.
I really think this could have been a better film if it was done conventionally and there was more research & explanation of the back story of why these demons have come to walk the Earth. At least then, you would find yourself engaged. The route the filmmakers took is generic and tired. They went and made a modern Americanized horror film that is going to be forgotten in a few months time, if that.
JeruZalem Movie Review
by Dave Koenig "A Fiend on Film"