Google Sponsorship – Jeruzalem (2015)

That Israeli horror game.  So two American girls (Yael Grobglas, Danielle Jadelyn) are on vacation in Jerusalem.  Wouldn’t you know that the city ends up being ground zero for the apocalypse during their travels?  I still find my reaction to this breed of horror movie rather odd for me, because I am a big fan of found footage horror through and through.  [Rec], Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project all appeal to me on a number of different levels.  You would think POV horror would just be the next logical step, right?  Well, add Jeruzalem to the list that includes Hardcore Henry and Pandemic, because I am not about it.

1At this point it is just more passé than anything.

Now I do like this in concept, but it does end up playing like a gigantic marketing ploy.  This movie must have gotten full funding from Google, because the biggest thing you walk away remembering about this is how much of an advertisement this is for Google Glass.  The entirety of the movie is shown from the point of the view of the glasses, which does take away the question “why don’t they just put down the camera?”, but it just leads to the new question “why does she keep messing around with these glasses with all of the insanity that is going down around her?”  From the start, I thought this was just trying to be World War Z at first from the introduction and the poster, but it is not.  It actually ends up sharing the beats of Cloverfield more than anything, which is unexpected, because this is not a giant monster destroying the city movie, it’s a zombie/infected movie.

2Brought to you by Google.  Oh lord, is it brought to you by Google.

This feels like a direct-to-video movie at every single turn.  I believe everybody involved with this is Israeli, which is fine, but their American accents keep dropping in and out.  I don’t like the POV gimmick, and I think it is just a matter of time before the genre is just overrun with movies that use the same technique, which is not something that I am looking forward to.  It has effective moments scattered throughout, but because it is taking product placement above and beyond to the next level, I have no choice but to deduct points for being so distracting.

Jeruzalem (2015) **

– Critic for Hire


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