Director: Doron and Yoav Paz
Screenplay: Ariel Cohen
Release: Dread Presents
This film vastly surpassed my expectations. While the only thing I expected to see wasn’t really there and I think the Paz Brothers made the right decision with how it was presented. Vagaries intentional.
During an outbreak of a deadly plague, a young woman, Hanna, must save her tight-knit Jewish community from invaders. Turning to Jewish mysticism, she conjures a dangerous entity to protect her and her people. However, the powerful creature she summons may be far more evil than anything she could have ever imagined.
Before I watched the movie I had a working knowledge of the Jewish folklore of the Golem of Prague, so I wasn’t going in blind, but I thought the film covered it well enough that you don’t need anything but some popcorn and a little time. What you get is film that exceeds its budget. It is clear that they had enough so the digital effects are well done but you can also see that they could have easily done a more with a looser purse-string, but that wasn’t necessary.
The cornerstone of the film is the strength of Hani Furstenberg performance. While everyone else performs adequately, Furstenberg draws you in and making her a likable anti-hero in this horror adjacent film. From the very first moment I thought I was looking at Liv Ullmann so my judgment may be a bit tainted.
Without such a charismatic lead I think the whole movie would have fallen apart and look like a casual SyFy made-for-tv film. Luckily, The Golem absolutely does not fall into that category. This may sound harsh but it thing it is important to temper your expectations. The film definitely excels in everything area that it can.
I spent about two minutes scanning through other reviews before I started to write this just to get the pulse of what is out there. Something I noticed is how this film isn’t enough of a horror movie. From one angle I can understand that since it was distributed by Dread Presents, a label with is origins of a horror news website. But if you look at their catalog you will notice that they don’t exclusively release horror films, for which I am glad. I think that you could easily put The Golem alongside the Universal Monster film, they too weren’t very horrific but their roots are deep in the influencers of modern horror films.
I love when I get to see high quality, fresh, horror movies when I am not expecting it, this is something that The Golem provides. In a genre built around jump scares and baseless violence and gore it is refreshing to see a spirituality based revenge film which draws on real, raw, and familial emotions. I highly recommend this movie to you.
Also, I am very impressed with the Paz brothers and am excited to see their previous film Jeruzalem, which, coincidentally comes packaged with the Blu-ray right now when you order from Epic Pictures.
- Audio Commentary from directors Doron and Yoav Paz & writer Ariel Cohen
- The Making-of THE GOLEM
- Deleted Scenes
- The Making-of THE GOLEM Soundtrack
- FrightFest Interview
- Teaser Trailer
- Theatrical Trailer
I watched this on VUDU, I saw the error of my ways and ordered the Blu-ray, so as of writing this I have not been able to watch the special features, but I want to.
Director: 8 – Cinematography: 8 – Edit: 5 – Parity: 8 – Main performance: 9 – Else performance: 4 – Score: 8 – Sound: 7 – Story: 9 – Script: 7 – Effects: 8 – Design: 9 – Costumes: 6 – Keeps interest: 10 – Lasting: 10