17 March 2016



This intense horror movie about the Biblical 'End of Days' was one of the big films of the Irish Film Institute's 2015 Horrorthon and it seemed to go down a storm. The blonde girl in it, Rachel, even made it onto the cover of the Horrorthon souvenir programme. There were things I liked about the film, things I wasn't so crazy about and things I absolutely loved about it. We might start with those, it's always best to start on a positive note...!

The setting is freakin' awesome. Jerusalem, one of the oldest, most historical, most ancient cities in the world. How could you wander through its warren of narrow stone streets and not picture yourself back in the times of Our Lord, Jesus Christ...?

In fact, I think too many people tend to do that, haha. A chap in the film goes temporarily gaga with what's known as 'Jeruzalem Syndrome' and has to be chucked in the 'cuckoo-house.' Without a proper medical assessment, mind you. And remember when THE SIMPSONS went to Jerusalem and everyone, including Homer, started suffering from delusions that they were the Messiah? That's called 'Messiah Syndrome...!'

I'm a very impressionable person. If I went there, I'd be so affected by the history and the sheer staggering age of the place that I'd go cuckoo-bananas within two days. The sights, sounds and smells of the place in which Armenians, Jews, Muslims and others all live cheek-by-jowl with each other in the shadow of over two millenia of history would be a heady concoction indeed. The views from the rooftops in the film are breathtaking.

Anyway, enough about 'Messiah Syndrome.' Everyone knows that I'm the real Messiah, heh-heh-heh...! This is a film about two American girls on holiday in the Holy City when they accidentally get caught up in a Biblical Apocalypse. Tsk, tsk. Dontcha just hate when that happens? I'd certainly have strong words to say to my tour guide if it were me. Damn straight I would.

The girls are good-looking but sooooo annoying. Blonde-haired Rachel is a giant slut and brunette Sarah, who's slowly getting over the death of her brother Joel, wears these ridiculous 'Smart-Glasses' given to her by her dear old dad.

They're seemingly the spectacles-equivalent of the Smart-Phone. Apparently they're a real thing (it's news to me!) and I've just been informed that superstar and VOICE UK coach Will.I.Am wears them. He would, he loves his technology! Sarah wears them throughout the film, which means that we're mostly seeing the film from the glasses's POV, which I found annoying beyond belief.

It's all too bloody gimmicky, if you ask me. As if films weren't incorporating enough bloody technology in them nowadays. There's only one point in the film in which Sarah's Smart-Glasses do something even remotely cool. Hint: They're in the underground caves, running away from the monsters...

This brings me neatly to the film's boogeymen, the creatures who are running this whole Apocalyptic hoop-la and trapping people in the city. They're the dead returned to life, normally a terrifying phenomenon, but they don't seem to know whether they're zombies, fallen angels, Orcs or bloody box-trolls. And their amateurish pop-up wings...! My kids have brought better-constructed ones home from school, no offence.

When one of the Biblically-named (Rachel? Sarah? Two of the most common names in the Bible?) girls is 'turning' in the warren of underground caves that criss-cross the city, that's pretty cool. I liked that bit. Naturally, I won't tell you which 'slut' it is, haha. 

Omar and his Pops, the hotel owners, were lovely and rather attractive. I could really go for handsome, dark-haired good-humoured Omar, even though he clearly chases after anything in a skirt that wanders into his line of vision. Men. Whaddya gonna do...?

The insane asylum or 'cuckoo-house' is quite cool too. It's utterly unbelievable, however, that out of the whole entire abandoned building Sarah would be able to find the keys to anthropology student and fellow tourist's Kevin's cell without any difficulty. The whole scene is reminiscent of the one in James Cameron's TITANIC in which Rose (Kate Winslet) uses an axe to chop Jack (Leonardo
Di Caprio, recently honoured by the Academy!) out of his handcuffs. 'You can do it, Rose, you can do this!'

The bit of video-footage at the beginning with the priests and the 'possessed' being (it's not clear if it's a woman or a long-haired male) is brilliant. It reminded me of the bits of THE OMEN movies that are set in the Holy Land. Like I said earlier, there's just so much ancient history there that it would boggle your mind permanently if you tried to take it all in at once. A bit more of that type of thing and a bit less of Sarah's clearly fallible bloody Smart-Glasses would have suited me just fine, thank you very much.

Just to remind you horror movie fans that JERUZALEM is due for Exclusive Early Digital Release on the 28th March 2016 courtesy of Solo Media and the DVD and Blu-ray Release Date is the 4th April 2016. 

Don't let my grumbling and moaning put you off. It's mostly a grand little horror flick and it's definitely worth a watch. Just because I hate anything to do with gadgetry and the march of progress doesn't mean that you guys have to live in the flippin' Dark Ages right alongside me, haha.

I'll leave you with the rather excellent tagline to the movie, which comes from the Talmud:
'There are three gates to hell. One in the Desert... One in the Ocean... And one in Jerusalem...'


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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