Film Review: Jericho (2017)

Jericho is a film from writer, director, editor, and producer Emir Skalonja. He is quickly achieving an underground following with his short metaphoric trip through mental illness Melancholia and his feature length zombie duology, The Plague and The Plague 2: Biohazard Blood.

This new venture into action filmmaking is an interesting move. While it isn’t necessarily a commonly covered genre on this site, there are many labels and filmmakers that try their hand at this genre. I personally think these are hard films to make interesting on a small budget. While most genres are bogged down by redundant stories and predictable endings, this genre is easily crippled by a lack of funds.

With that being said, this is still a pretty good example of microbudget filmmaking. Like Skalonja’s other works, he does manage to infuse a bit of style into the look of his films. In this case, it wasn’t gore effects. Instead is was cinematography and location scouting. I loved the black and white look of the film. The bursts of blood red color splashes are also interesting devices used at unpredictable moments. He doesn’t overuse gimmicks though; you can tell he planned out his tricks well in advance, showing mature decision making on the part of a young filmmaker.

Viewers walking into this film must understand that this is a stab at a new genre for the director; therefore, the horror/gore fans may be let down a bit if they recently watched Melancholia. This film doesn’t rely on gore to entice the viewer, despite the fact that there are a couple nice kills. Instead this film menages to establish itself as a throwback to revenge/action films of the nineties. The writing is decent, despite the fact that the plot is your common nior-ish-thriller-where-a-criminal-tries-to-leave-the-business-but-his girl-gets-killed-so-he-has-to-go-after-his-boss-first: #revenge and so one and so on and so on.

In the end, this is good for collectors of cult action films. It’s up there with stuff like Deadly Prey from Slasher Video and Lethal Force from Unearthed Films. The horror collectors that are stuck in their ways may not give it a shot; however, the prices that Skalonja charges are beyond fair. So aside from a few of the normal low budget acting hiccups, I’d say that this is worth checking out. When it comes to many of the filmmakers out there, I’d give this guy a shot just due to the fact that he has low prices and definitely has a promising future ahead.

Author: Steven Paul

Born and raised in Michigan, slowly dying in Florida. I’m here to keep you informed about everything in the world of indie horror. I also specialize in all genres of exploitation, cult, and extreme cinema. As part owner and Editor of Film and Television for Beneath the Underground, it is my responsibility to provide vast amounts of information for the horror fan and an outlet for the filmmaker.

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