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When a couple of American young adults fly to Israel to visit the city of Jerusalem, a biblical nightmare falls upon the city

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JeruZalem movie full length review - Jeruzalem

The letter "z" in the title of Jeruzalem made me suspect it was going to be a typical zombie movie, but with a different cultural "taste" and exotic millennial locations, very different to the monotonous woods and suburbs usually employed by this kind of films.

Fortunately, co-directors and co-screenwriters Doron and Yoav Paz made something much more ambitious, creating an innovative tale about religious prophecies, portals to hell and occasional echoes of "kaiju" cinema. Even the "found footage" format found a credible justification with the "lenses-camera" used by one of the main characters in order to correct her sight problems; in that way, the footage gains a new dimension, and it also contributes to the narrative with its useful function of face recognition, displaying names and biographies of persons the main characters meet during their fateful trip through Israel. The first two thirds of Jeruzalem consist on the gradual immersion of the two main characters into the tourist "underground" of Jerusalem, where they meet new friends at a juvenile hostel, visit local markets and, of course, assist to bars with lights and music as in any modern city. Occasionally, on a very gradual way, we find out the prophecies and religious context which will take preponderance during the final third, when the terrifying events are unleashed. Small SPOILER: the catastrophe which strikes Jerusalem includes the resurrection of the dead, not like traditional zombies, but something more imaginative and consistent with the religious subjects handled by the screenplay. In fact, I'm not even sure whether "zombie" is the right word. Besides, the characters are much more pleasant than the hateful louts we find in many horror films. On the negative side, there occasionally appear some "found footage" clichés in the last third, such as unnecessary discussions and convenient "technical glitches" of the camera. Nevertheless, Jeruzalem ended up being quite a pleasant surprise, mainly because of its ambition, enigmatic mythology and the vision displayed by the Paz brothers. In summary, a very entertaining experience which attempted something different to what we are accustomed. Besides, Jeruzalem can be taken as an unusual tourist guide through Jerusalem, explored through a modern perspective which doesn't sacrifice the reverence for its illustrious past. This confirms the potential of shooting in real places, instead of poor simulations in Bulgaria or Canada.