The Horror Honeys: Jeruzalem: Warning, POV ahead.

Jeruzalem: Warning, POV ahead.

A Head Honey Indie New Release Review by Kat

Jeruzalem (2015)

I thought there was nothing I could hate more than found footage… and then POV filming became a thing. Before Hardcore Henry made it officially cool, Jeruzalem was rocking the POV “not Google Glass” Google Glass filming style. The only saving grace of POV filming is that the need to explain why this douchebag with a camera won’t stop filming or put the camera down to help his friends when they’re being dragged screaming in to the woods by a mostly unseen creature is explained away. Small mercies, my friends.
The story: The IMDb description is literally a logline from a hopeful one sheet. "When a couple of American young adults fly to Israel to visit the city of Jerusalem, a biblical nightmare falls upon the city." Let’s be more accurate about this: Two twenty-something women plan a trip to Israel to “get away from it all” and see the historic sights and party – they plan to go to Tel Aviv, but get distracted by dick and go to Jerusalem instead. Sara has recently lost her brother, and her friend Rachel thinks that an exciting getaway to Israel will help her recover. 


*side eye*
Disclaimer: I love the Middle East. I love the history, the culture the FOOD, the men… but let’s get something straight. When you’re trying to get your head back on the right way after family tragedy, you don’t go overseas without your family. You go to Mexico where the food and the booze are free and you can walk around in a bathing suit without fear of being thrown in jail or harassed in the street, or to Vegas to make some bad decisions that don't happen to include participation in a Biblical apocalypse. 

At least she makes possession look cute.
The majority of the action in Jeruzalem is driven by Sarah, our Google Glass Pilot, who (like 90% of women in scripts written by men) is flighty, overemotional, ready to abandon her friend at a moment’s notice, and completely hung up on a guy she’s only known for two days – which frustrates me to no end, because without this strange attachment, nothing bad would have actually happened. Well, at least not to us anyway.

Sarah’s baffling attachment to this guy appears to be based on the sole fact that they had some awkward sex on a single bed in a hostel where no one speaks English and were lucky that her dad didn’t call and get a heads up view of his darling daughter's antics. And this is all made especially frustrating by the fact that this Kevin guy (Kevin, Anthropologist *punch*) doesn’t seem to care about Sarah at all… like, at all at all. He abandons her in scary dark places, and walks away from her while she’s talking. Plus, nobody stops when she says (repeatedly) “Guys, wait up!” I’m sorry, Sarah. No one seems to care about your asthma, or the fact that some kid stole your backpack and you couldn’t catch him. I don’t do cardio, and I can catch children who take my shit.  
I shoot it, right? That will work, right?
I know that what I’m supposed to focus on when it comes to Jeruzalem is the Biblical end times. When a portal to hell is opened, winged cat demon things (which are actually really pretty) and some skinless giant things (someone’s seen Attack on Titan) make their way through the city. But when I’m supposed to be sympathetic to a characters that I would have abandoned in a cave, the point seems to fade away.

Along with shockingly poor decision making, technology is also on display in Jeruzalem, as Sarah’s new (and supremely expensive) toy does all of the thinking for us. Scanning faces for Facebook profiles in the bar (good to know that everyone she’s hitting on or is hitting on her is single… thanks FB *wink*), handy maps that would probably make you go cross-eyed in reality, YouTube videos that autoplay (which is fucking annoying any way you slice it), and heads-up view of Skype and text messaging that reminds you that your friend is a cheating bitch and probably deserves everything that happens to her… amirite? *scowl* 

Wow, she's really got that "vapid stare" direction DOWN.
In the end, no one is likable, and our sympathetic character ends up crossing the line to straight up pathetic. The final twist is obvious, and while I enjoyed the Bjork-style Big Time Demonic Sensuality ending, it just didn’t resonate as well as I hoped it would. 

Overall, the takeaway lesson from Jeruzalem is this: There’s a difference between being spontaneous and being a fucking idiot. Our main characters don't seem to realize this, presumably because they’re 20. I did a lot of stupid shit when I was 20, like riding on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle on the 3 hour journey from Corinth to Athens on a highway in shorts and a tank top. But did I accept his invitation to sell my plane ticket back to Canada and go to Germany with him? No, I fucking didn’t. 

Head Honey Verdict: 2.5 bad travel plans out of 5 

Jeruzalem is available via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Vudu, & Google Play

What do you think of the whole POV phenomenon?
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