Holy Land Hell (Jeruzalem, 2015)

Found Footage films always feel like an attempt to make a movie on the cheap with a hope for big returns. Ghosts are common because they are easy to fake. Sometimes you can strike gold…but frankly, a lot of times you have a forgettable film with wide hollow eyed ghosts in asylums.

This film tries to be something a bit different. At times it reminded me of Cloverfield, but with a religious bent. the film opens with footage and voiceover referring to three gates from hell and one that was discovered. There are glimpses of winged demonic looking creatures being detained by the military.

The film then jumps to two friends planning a trip to visit Isreal. On the plain they meet a handsome archeologist and decide to follow him to Jerusalem. But what they expect to be a fun party time suddenly is shook when the military starts flooding the city and bombing areas. They find themselves locked in the city and along with others seek to avoid the the monsters that seem to be infesting the city and get outside the city walls through tunnels.

The winged demons attack people and then those people start to exhibit behavior not unlike a zombie. It is a race against time to survive.

Like a lot of found footage, the film struggles to justify keeping the camera running. The film has decent looking monsters, even if the early stage is just “black eyes”. But I did find myself curious to get a better idea of the creatures and their motives. There were glimpses of large creature that the Israeli military is firing on, but we never really find out the nature of that.

The film never devolves into a preachy, God’s Not Dead take on religion and really plays up the mystery of the even. Even at the end it is left unclear what brought this all on.

As I noted, the film struggles to justify the main character constantly filming and honestly, they start adding “battle damage” to the picture which is meant to give more realism (hey the lens is cracked!)… but honestly is become kind of annoying.

This is a pretty middle ground found footage film. It will not leave you frustrated…but it is not likely to be one you are talking about long after watching it.

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