Review by Dan Skip Allen
There are a lot of undistinguished monsters in films in the past: shadowy monsters with greasy black hair and long fingernails. Since then, we've gotten a lot of movies with these types of monsters as the antagonist. It's like writers can't come up with anything else to scare people with.
This time out a mute boy is left in his apartment by his father who is a nighttime DJ. The previous inhabitant of the apartment died there and left some suspicious items: a book and a mirror (as if they couldn't come up with other superstitious items). The boy gets into the items and conjures a monster that sometimes takes the form of his deceased mother, sometimes a shadowy cloud, and sometimes it takes over people in the surrounding building and apartments.
The boy is played by newcomer Ezra Dewey. He carries most of the film by himself. As a mute boy, he doesn't say anything. He only screams. So does the monster as well. This small apartment has to play as host to this entire scenario. They use a lot of items from the apartment to keep the 81-minute runtime moving along. This was a task considering what the kid had to do in the film. He was very good considering everything.
The visuals were hit and miss in this film. Sometimes they looked cool and other times they looked fake. The CGI scenes were the worst of those. The makeup scenes were much better. Combining these scenes throughout the film wasn't seamlessly done. Maybe that was due to a small budget. This just seemed very underwhelming at times. A little blood and gore made for a more realistic scenario, but it just wasn't that believable to me.
A twist in the script makes this story go a long way. I for one would have liked to see more of the father-son relationship. Brief glimpses of the mother as a demon were interesting moments in the story, but the focus should have been more on the father-son relationship. This story was quite underwhelming from that aspect. It's sad because that story had some potential to it.
This film was filled with underwhelming things in it. The script, visual effects, and overall lack of dialogue because the kid was a mute made for a long 81 minutes run time. This film obviously lacked a budget and a more seasoned filmmaker to tell this story. A monster we've seen a dozen times before didn't help this film at all either. It's just another lackluster bad horror fantasy.
The Djinn hits theaters and VOD on May 14.
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