American horror master Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist) has contributed substantially to modern classic scarefests and what we consider to be a the standard American horror canon, so it’s interesting that his latest film, Djinn, was filmed entirely in the United Arab Emirates and uses a menace straight out of Arab folklore and Islamic teachings. The film follows “an Emirati couple (played by Khalid Laith and Razane Jammal) return from a trip to the United States only to discover that their new apartment has been built on a site that is home to some malevolent beings.” Seriously, everybody needs to put some time into investigating just what their homes are built on. But Djinn might be encountering something even more terrifying than issues of architecture – STYD reported just last week that the film might not see the light of day, as rumors held that “someone close to Abu Dhabi’s royal family has seen the movie and does not appreciate its portrayal of the UAE and considers the movie to be politically subversive, and that they’ve paid off the studio’s chairman, Mohammed Al Mubarak, to bury it…Two other film companies even offered to buy it outright, but the chairman refused to hear their bids.” But after that story was posted, another site got official word from the studio that held that “These rumours are unfounded. Djinn is in active post-production, and Image Nation looks forward to releasing the film in theatres later this year.  As for offers, […]


Laith Jammal Djinn

When you hear that a new horror film is coming from the man who directed Poltergeist (the one who isn’t Steven Spielberg), the hope is that the cast he attracts will be strong actors and not just pretty faces with the ability to scream. Fortunately, and solid talent has just signed on for Djinn. Variety is reporting that Khalid Laith (The Devil’s Double) and Razane Jammal (Carlos) have signed onto the forthcoming, Middle East-set horror film. They’ll star as two people returning from a vacation in the United States who encounter a haunting in their home from mean-spirited beings. Laith and Jammal don’t have a lot of work under their belts, but the work they do have shines. Laith was sharp in The Devil’s Double – the movie about a man forced to be one of Saddam’s son’s body double – and Jammal did well even in a smaller role in Carlos. Hopefully, they’ll transition into horror without much trouble.



A family returns to the United Arab Emirates from a trip to find their fancy apartment is haunted by a Djinn – a demon that lies at the heart of the Middle Eastern myths about genies. This one apparently doesn’t sing “Friend Like Me” or grant wishes. This is the premise for Tobe Hooper‘s new project Djinn which sounds an awful lot like his 1982 project Poltergeist right down to the “abandoned fishing village” the apartment complex is built upon. Since Hooper hasn’t directed a film since 2005, it’ll be interesting to see him return to a very familiar form even if its in a foreign land. Plus, his recent return to directing has been average to downright terrible with The Toolbox Murders and Mortuary. Maybe this re-return will be the key to success for the icon who delivered the great horrors of the late 70s and 80s. Hooper is definitely no stranger to ghost stories, and this gives just enough spin to keep it fresh, although it’s unclear how they’ll differentiate between a djinn and, you know, any other paranormal entity. At the first sign of moving meat, I’ll call foul, but the premise alone is harmless enough, and hopefully Hooper can deliver this time around. According to the press release, producer and Imagenation Abu Dhabi VP Daniela Tully aimed for the fences, evoking the sweeping J-horror craze of a few years ago and placing it firmly in the UAE. Is there a chance that the next wave of […]



The team behind Dead Birds takes another hack at the small group of guys stuck in a spooky place with Red Sands.

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published: 02.01.2015
published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015

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