Directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist 1982, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 1974, Salem’s Lot 1979 ), Djinn, is a much-anticipated and long in post-production United Arab Emirates’ set supernatural thriller.
The prologue tells the past story of a baby who is half-human, half-djinn (a shape-shifting demon), taken from his mother who continues to search for her offspring. The film then switches to the present day in New York, where couple Salama (Razane Jammal- A Walk Among The Tombstones) and Khalid (Khalid Laith- World War Z, The Devil’s Double) are having counseling to try and get over the death of their baby. Their therapist thinks they should move back to the UAE where Khalid (who has no parents but Salama has family there) has been offered a big new job, and despite Salama’s desire to stay in the US, is worn down by the pair.
Greeted by Salama’s family at the airport the couple move to a lavish new apartment building outside Abu Dhabi called the Al Hamra Hotel. The hotel is built over the renowned abandoned fishing village in Ras Al Khaimah that is said to be haunted by the Djinn ghost still searching for her lost child. As the couple move in, they instantly begin to notice bizarre happenings that seem to be connected to the legend of Umm Al Duwais. Salama becomes increasingly unsettled in the strange new surroundings with its eerie hallways and over-attentive security guard as her and her family feel the wrath of this malevolent spirit.
It is no gore fest, but then over-the-top bloodletting has never really been Hooper’s trademark. Djinn offers a mystery that is often talked about it, it just hasn’t unfortunately been executed to its full potential. There was initial high expectation around Djinn given it was set and funded in the UAE, produced by Image Nation and performed in both Arabic and English. Unfortunately barring an ending that was unexpectedly pretty good, I don’t think it was worth the wait.
Djinn offers little in terms of effects, plot-twists or performance but it is still somehow a watchable supernatural thriller. I wouldn’t recommend it but if you are a fan of supernatural legends you may enjoy it.
WICKED RATING: 4/10
Director(s): Tobe Hooper
Writer(s): David Tully
Stars: Razane Jammal, Ahd, Aiysha Hart, Khalid Laith
Studio/ Production Co: Imagenation Abu Dhabi FZ, FilmWorks