The Golem: The age-old fable of a man-made killing vessel gets a slight reworking from the directors of Jeruzalem.
The Golem review by Kat Hughes.
Directing duo The Paz Brothers sprung onto the Frightfest scene a couple of years back with Jeruzalem. Set in the modern era, Jeruzalem was a found-footage film based around a group of tourists and the end of the world. Now they return to Frightfest with their first English language feature film, The Golem,
The Golem could not be more different to Jeruzalem. For one this is a period piece. It’s also a much slower affair with very few moments of true horror. Hanna (Hani Furstenbera) is a lonely woman grieving the loss of her son seven years prior. Her relationship with husband Benjamin (Ishai Golan) seems to be more one of duty and obligation, rather than love. Her only passion in life is her study of the Holy texts, something which Benjamin, and other men in the village, frown upon. After their village comes under siege from a madman, Hanna takes it into her own hands to save her people by bringing forth a Golem, with very unexpected consequences.
Typically Golems on-screen (big and small) are monstrous beasts of fantastic stature. Here, it is merely a boy. This instantly makes it more creepy, and creates an intriguing story for Hanna. Suddenly, she cannot separate the Golem from her dead son Joesph and forms a maternal bond to the creature. The Golem doesn’t necessarily follow orders and, rather than help rid the town of it’s villains, it decides to tackle any and all who try to hurt Hanna.
As previously mentioned this is much, much more subdued that the previous Paz Brothers film, but that’s not a bad thing. By giving the film time to breathe you really begin to connect with Hanna and the Golem, which makes events in the final act all the more emotive.
Slow going, and drastically different from previous works, The Golem struggles at times to fully hold the attention, but it ultimately works as a demonstration of The Paz Brothers’ range.
The Golem review by Kat Hughes, August 2018.
The Golem screened as part of Arrow Video Frightfest 2018.