The film takes place on Yom Kippur in “the present day.” It is made as a “found footage” piece, but using the main character’s Google Glass glasses as the camera. Given the rather rapid rise and fall of Google Glass as a thing, that dates the narrative to the fall before the film was released (i.e. October 4th, 2014 and July 10th, 2015 respectively). It is part zombie (the capital Z thing) flick and part religious/supernatural thriller and, as a result, may be a little bit confused about its backstory.
Reviews were generally harsh. One online reviewer calls it Cloverfield, but with poor acting. The comparison is an interesting one. Cloverfield had a production budget of something like $30 million. JeruZalem was made with $160,000, mostly raised by the directors themselves.
In an industry that desperately needs fresh innovation, it is interesting to see an English-language film originating through entirely different channels than the mainstream. Varied, and particularly less formal, production paths allow for trial-and-error without breaking the bank or having to run the gauntlet of Hollywood studio approval. Although I’ve not watched too much of it, I have noticed an uptick in product coming out of Israel over the past few years. That said, this movie doesn’t stray too far outside “the formula,” but it still shows how an independent production can challenge the studios. The critics, whether online commenters or the Los Angeles Times, judge this movie, not as an indie, film festival project, but side-by-side with its multi-million dollar competitors in the commercial film market at large. I think that says something.
Honestly, the acting may take a little bit to get used to but it just isn’t as bad as the complaints make it out to be. I’ll just say that some of the actors are better than others and leave it at that.