Old-City Locations Can’t Disguise the Familiarity of Found-Footage Horror Flick ‘Jeruzalem’


What’s the Hebrew word for “headache maker”?

Jerusalem’s Old City section is an unusual setting for a horror flick, but the style is the familiar wobbly-found-footage approach in Doron and Yoav Paz’s Jeruzalem, with a wrinkle: It’s purportedly shot using a Google Glass–type device worn by a college-age American, Rachel (Yael Grobglas).

The conceit provides exposition, as the software shares details at the corners of the screen about people Rachel meets and sites she visits. It also affords a rare shaky-cam twofer, showing us a picture-in-picture of a grisly found-footage clip (“from the Vatican archives,” we’re told) in the lower left while Rachel fumbles around the hotel. As impressive as the Old City locations can be, one narrow alleyway looks much like another when the Paz brothers’ camera is bouncing to and fro. Not much substance is buried beneath the irritating style.

The premise: Apparently sometimes on Yom Kippur the dead rise and raise hell; this is just one of those times. The fiends — winged screechers at the edges of the frame — are mostly seen briefly while Rachel is ushered this way and that as she tries to escape or to rescue her friends. The urgent shouting directly into the camera has all the rote shocks of a video thrill-ride at a theme park.


Directed by Doron and Yoav Paz

Epic Pictures

Opens January 29, Village East Cinema