Tag Archives: Found footage

Movie Review: JeruZalem

imageYoav and Doran Paz’s JeruZalem (B) is a welcome addition to the found-footage horror genre, with a compelling female-centric viewpoint, a mysterious setting and a surprising portal for storytelling. Two traveling American females winningly played by Yael Grobglas and Danielle Hadelyn meet a young anthropologist, the charming Yon Tumarkin, on a plane to Israel and divert from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for what becomes a vacation to the gates of hell. In addition to the novelty of on-location shooting in the Holy City, the film’s revelation is that it’s seen through the eyes of a Google Glass type application. Facial recognition, virtual reality avatars, photo freeze-framing and links to popular social networking sites rendered right in front of Hadelyn’s character’s line of sight add a compelling mind’s eye viewpoint into proceedings both commonplace and apocalyptic. Tom Graziani is also a delight as the Arabic host who turns the travelers on to hostels, hummus and hash before the quartet all face horror together. A sinister and sly story for the selfie age, the film suffers a bit when it veers too sharply into the conventions of its genre, and there are missed opportunities to plumb some of the film’s potential religious ramifications; but high production values and a smart POV ultimately win the doomsday.

Movie Review: Cloverfield (2008)

imageMatt Reeves’ Cloverfield (C) is a mash-up of found footage horror movie and a Godzilla action film, but the you-are-there format fails to impress, and the lizard fails to scare. It just feels a little tedious and cheap and is better remembered for its pre-release hype and buzz campaign. A game cast including Lizzy Caplan and T.J. Miller doesn’t have much to do as young New Yorkers start off celebrating a friend’s farewell and then fleeing for their lives. There are a few passable action sequences and occasionally some nice camera trickery, but it doesn’t add up to much. We want to exclaim, “It’s alive…” but really it’s just ok.