Jericho Ridge 2023 Movie Scene Nikki Amuka-Bird as Deputy Tabby Temple holding a gun pointed at the intruder in the police station

Jericho Ridge [2023]

There’s nothing I love more than finding these little thrillers worth watching no one ever heard of. Jericho Ridge is an exciting and expertly crafted indie thriller about a cop forced to defend a small police station against attackers. Not only this is a single-location movie but it also unfolds during just a couple of intense hours. If this formula sounds a bit familiar it’s because we’ve already seen several movies featuring a similar plot. Moreover, there are numerous horror and war movies in which people have to do the same thing. And these are some of my favorite movies.

John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 and its 2013 remake are most similar but I have to throw in Feast and Siege of Jadotville in there for good measure. Jericho Ridge follows Deputy Tabby Temple who, still recovering from her broken ankle, decides to help out at the station. She just has to answer the phones so it’s not a big deal. However, that morning something odd happened. Something that’s going to turn this entire day into a bloody shootout that’s going to claim many lives. First of all, I hope you’re not one of those close-minded people who will tune out when they found that the lead is a black female cop. A black female cop who also happens to be a single mother.

While I understand that there are many movies out there forcefully trying to be trendy and shit, I assure you this is not one of them. This is something you’re going to realize as soon as you play it. On top of that, Nikki Amuka-Bird gave one hell of a performance as Tabby Temple. In fact, all of the cast was solid. Jericho Ridge is a debut for writer and director Will Gilbey. And what a debut it is. The direction was tight and he was able to sustain suspense throughout the short running time of 80 minutes. Too bad we won’t stray far from that police station as the nature surrounding looks mesmerizing.

Despite this being an indie thriller, the production values are excellent. This is what happens when you have a director who knows how to make the most of a tight budget. Sure, the single location thing helped but everything else looked great too. I’m mostly talking about numerous shootouts that look like they belong in a much bigger movie. Most of them take place during the night creating bullet fireworks I’m sure you’re going to enjoy. Well, if you’re a fan of this sort of thing anyway. I especially liked those shots that look like tracer rounds and absolutely wreck the poor person on their receiving end.

At this moment, I would like to mention two relatively similar movies I’ve watched recently. Both of them are indie thrillers taking place at remote gas stations over the course of one night. While Open 24 Hours is more of a slasher, Night of the Hunted feels like a straight-up thriller. I wanted to mention these two movies because they’re in the same league as the one we’re talking about today. However, Jericho Ridge is simply better in almost all regards. The scenes inside the station are inter-spliced with dashcam videos showing what the rest of the squad is up to. They provide a refreshing change of setting and propel the story forward. 

In fact, you can feel that somebody storyboarded the shit out of this movie. However, the thing I appreciated the most was the inner logic displayed not just by the characters and their decisions but also by the story as a whole. It unfolds quite naturally even offering some intriguing twists. Finally, I can’t wait to see Gilbey’s next movie No Great Beauty. The title is quite puzzling but I’m sure that’s going to be something worth watching.

Director: Will Gilbey

Writer: Will Gilbey

Cast: Nikki Amuka-Bird, Zack Morris, Chris Reilly, Simon Kunz, Michael Socha, Solly McLeod, Philipp Christopher

Fun Facts: The entire movie Jericho Ridge was filmed in Europe, Republic of Kosovo after COVID pandemic halted the production in Canada.


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