OK the clue’s in the title, but there’s a bit more to JeruZalem than a zombie movie set in Israel. According to the opening legend there are three gateways to Hell, one in the desert one in the ocean and the other in Jerusalem and come the Judgement Day the dead will rise yada yada; trouble is the major faiths have been covering this all up so when Sarah (Danielle Jadelyn) and Rachel (Yael Grobglass) leave New York for Tel Aviv they have no idea what they are letting themselves in for. Just as well Sarah’s dad’s parting present was a pair of smart specs so we can enjoy the trip in all it’s ‘found footage’ glory.
On the plane they fall in with young anthropologist Kevin (Yon Tumarkin), who persuades the girls to head straight to Jerusalem where they join up with Omar (Tom Graziani). So after a bit of sightseeing Kevin reveals that he is investigating the resurrection of the dead on Judgement Day (which just happens to be that evening) and flips out so bad that Omar’s dad has him taken away by the men in white coats. Only naturally Kevin was right, so when things start exploding, it isn’t terrorists as the authorities say, but the dead rising as winged demons (fallen angels) with a taste for human flesh (natch, who of course only have to bite or claw you to pass it on according to the well established principles of zombie science ), not to mention the Nephilim giants stalking the city and I don’t mean Carl McCoy and his mates.
As if that isn’t bad enough the authorities lock down the old city gates and respond with helicopter gunships and air strikes. so it’s up to Sarah to spring Kevin from hospital and along with Rachel, Omar, Omar’s dad and two Israeli conscripts attempt to use the old Palestinian smugglers tunnels out of the city to escape the demons.Will they make it out? Well you will have to watch the movie to find out.
I think this is the first ‘found footage’ shocker I have seen that uses smart specs as a recording device so we get to see the action exclusively from Sarah’s ‘point of view’ along with the various apps, web pages and sat nav that help to move the story along. Quite clever to begin with, but it does start to wear a bit thin when we get to the running around and whimpering in the dark that goes with the ‘found footage’ territory. Overall though, the old city of Jerusalem makes a great horror film set, just the thing for fallen angels, the tension is managed well with plenty of good jump scares and the make up, prosthetics and effects aren’t bad either.
An Israeli mystic Cloverfield I give JeruZalem a big 555/666
JeruZalem (cert.15) was released in the UK on VOD/Digital platforms on Monday 28 March 2016 and arrives on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 4 April.