Tobe Hooper’s Djinn has already had a long and troubled history, beginning with its original 2010 release, but that doesn’t seem to be keeping Hooper or Djinn down. Blastr reports that Hooper originally released Djinn in 2010 to a limited festival release, which was followed up by a 2011 London screen test. Unfortunately (or not), that is as far as Djinn got to being screened to the public, until now.
Djinn‘s failure to reach audiences was due more to its political connections than to the quality of the story, however. Hooper had arranged for financing from the United Arab Emirates, which means the U.A.E. paid close interest to how the country was depicted in the film, and, according to rumor, the royal family was not impressed.
Now, five years later, Screen Gems has picked up the film and will be distributing it on VOD September 29 and on DVD on November 17, reports Bloody Disgusting.
“Desperate to put the traumatic loss of their infant child behind them, an Emirati couple return home – but home doesn’t provide the comfort they seek. Soon they are tormented by unexplainable events and begin to question if their neighbors are human, or the sinister, shape-shifting demons – the Djinn.”
Meanwhile, it seems as though Tobe Hooper has earned more scorn than praise with Djinn, and, while there are admittedly few reviews to base a judgement upon, those handful of IMDb users seemed to have few kind things to say of Djinn.
“The movie has a nice folklore traditional Emirati story, and depends on some of the beliefs of Islam regarding the realm of Jin (There is no D in Jin). It is directed by Tobe Hooper which I believe is the only reason that you might consider watching this. The most horrible thing about this movie is the cast, some are horribly unwatchable and there is no chemistry whatsoever between them. The dialects and accents are just too silly to mix together in members of the same family. The transition from speaking Arabic to speaking English is just uneasy to hear. The movies starts okay then the plot just plateaus for a veryyyyy long time until you are hit with the stupid ending,” says user obaid gm
While one opinion may be overlooked, it’s often difficult to dismiss two reviews that echo such similar sentiments and it seems Djinn fails to impress in the same areas for both users.
“Beside the scenes of classic ‘jumpy’ feeling, the acting is very bad. Chemistry between the actors is practically inexistent, the story is revealed in the 1st scene. and there is no build up. I have to say that the Saudi Actress, Aiysha Hart who did a great job! Some effects are good, but borrowed from other movies, such as “scene of birds bumping into windows…or the crawling ‘Um Al dwais’ weak cinematography. Dubai has much better scenes than shown. We need to compare the movie to international standards, especially with the amount of money spent on it. and the full access to all needed materials and actors. and hence why the movie rating is 3, in my opinion,” commented user elieabumerhi
Of all of Djinn‘s reviews, Hooper’s film did receive one glowing review.
“First of all it’s scary as hell, I’m a big fan of horror movies I’ve seen everyone now but they weren’t scary, but Djinn scared me and got me SO excited puts you on the edge of your seats, people were screaming, but they were a couple of comedic scenes to give us a little bit of a rest and a laugh…nonetheless it’s a must watch movie I give 10/10, I would watch it a million times and I would never get bored, it’s pretty short, but worth the time and money,” wrote user fda-elemarat
It’s difficult to judge how American audiences will receive Tobe Hooper’s Djinn, but, if these reviews from the U.A.E. audiences are any indication, Hooper may have a flop with Djinn.
[Featured image courtesy of Filmworks/Djinn]