Director – Emir Skalonja (The Plague, Flesh of My Flesh)
Starring – Will Nemi (Message in a Bottle, Tales of Darkened Light), Mirela Ajdimovski (The Plague 2: Biohazard Blood), and Tyler Cheman (Dead Sea, Stand Off)
Release Date – 2017
Rating – 3.5/5
I wanted to watch something I knew I would enjoy after being let down by Don’t Knock Twice. The film had the makings of a fun film but was unable to put everything together to make an entertaining watch. I wanted to toss in one of my security movies that I know I enjoy and can watch over and over again and never tire. However, I couldn’t. I was contacted by The Butcher director Emir Skalonja to check out two of his new films. The first is an action thriller Jericho filmed in black and white. I graciously accepted and I want to thank Emir for allowing Horror Society and myself the opportunity to check this one out.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows retired hit man Ryan Jericho (Nemi) who left the world or organized crime behind when he met the love of his life. Sadly, his old crime boss wants him removed completely and sends in his goons to take him out. They fuck up and kill his wife forcing Jericho out of retirement and hungry for blood.**Spoiler Alert**
I didn’t know where Emir was going to take me with Jericho. I knew it wasn’t a horror film but what kind of film was I going to be watching. The answer is simple, a good damn movie was what I was watching. Emir and myself don’t always see eye to eye which is why I’m sure he’s always skeptical about letting me check out his work. The hard truth is not everyone is always going to agree with you. Everyone has different tastes in film just like every other aspect in life. I’ve enjoyed a great deal of Emir’s work and then there was a few that I couldn’t get behind. Jericho is not one of those. Jericho is a stylish action thriller that hit all the right notes. Well, almost all the right notes.
The acting in this one is solid. Usually in a Foxtrot film there is one actor or actress that completely shatters all expectations followed by a cast that is inexperienced. That cannot be said about this production. The cast does a great job and all work very well with each other. The cast really pulled it out with this. My only complaint is the fight scenes. I know indie horror films have a lot of obstacles to maneuver but the choreography in this one was not that great. Some of the actions shots was a little awkward to watch especially when you see them throwing punching in super slow motion. This needed sped up to make it a little more believable.
Finally, this one is surprisingly bloody. The kills are what you would expect from a film centered around a hit man. Some brutal attacks and a few gun shot wounds. The blood flows freely in this one and the black and white style of film works in it’s advantage. The practical effects look nice. Overall, Jericho is a gritty, hard hitting crime thriller from a very talented filmmaker. If you are new to indie cinema or Emir Skolanja I recommend starting on his filmography with this film.