Alright boys and girls, I fucking love found footage movies. It’s not a guilty pleasure or something silly like that, it’s a true passion. I seriously dig this genre, and I love how it makes old worn-out stories work again, just because it’s shot from someone's point of view. The strenght of found footage, something many forget, is what my buddies Jason and Jocke pointed out: it gives the illusion that something really cool could be a true, a big “if”... and that’s the key to imagination. So I never really cared for the boring found footage haters, they can’t just see beyond their own narrow wannabe-imagination.
This genre often becomes even better when it leaves the safe environments of American suburbs and rundown asylum ruins, or even or even, it will benefit from turning away from the worst clichés and embrace the exotic. I’ve seen found footage flicks from most parts of the world, but this is the first one from Israel. The artworks makes you think of World War Z, including the title written exactly like JeruZalem - and I’m not the only one who remember the Jerusalem scenes in Brad Pitt’s underrated blockbuster. But JeruZalem is a very different kind of bird compared to World War Z. Imagine a mix of Cloverfield, possession horror and even a dash of underground terrors like The Descent - and also visually very impressive, but in the end oddly underwhelming.
It tells the story of two American tourists trapped in Jerusalem during what’s essentially is the rapture, but instead of people disappearing they turn into hellish winged demons! Everything is seen through Google Glasses - or something similar - complete with GPS, face recognition with direct link to Facebook, music and - obviously - the world’s most durable batteries. It’s a very slick movie. It actually looks great, and I actually buy the reason why these glasses are being used, even after the apocalypse have started. The movie spends a good deal of its running time getting us to know the characters, maybe a bit too much of its own good, but it never - in my eyes - becomes boring or uninteresting. The characters are believable in their own silliness.
So how’s the horror? It’s… good. Not great, but competent. I was slightly disappointed you get to see so little of the mayhem, which could be a budgetary reason, but even even with several nice demon attacks, a Kaiju big demon (maybe Lucifer himself?) wandering through the city and random panic and chaos you never feel that punch in the belly, more a slight tickling sensation because the film is so good-looking. What JeruZalem needs is a kick in the ass to go that extra mile to deliver more violence and monsters.
BUT… it’s not a bad movie. It’s a lot of fun, the action is cool and there’s a lot of clever use of the glasses. The effects mostly looks great, including the really cool Kaiju demon (I would have loved to see a LOT more of that one!), and the ending gave me minor chills. It also uses the city of Jerusalem in an excellent, makes me wanna go there sometime, and that really adds to the production value. It won't change the world, win any Oscars or make new fans of found footage, but of us connoisseurs of the art of telling subjective cameras an a form of storytelling device this is a fun, glossy, not that original take on the found footage genre.