THE DJINN (2021) Reviews and overview

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The Djinn will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in the USA by RLJE Films on January 4th 2022. This recommended horror movie is currently available on Digital from IFC Midnight.

Here’s our previous coverage of The Djinn:

‘What is done cannot be undone’
The Djinn is a 2021 American horror film about Dylan, a mute young boy, who makes a wish to have a voice and unleashes a sinister monster. Now trapped in a small apartment with nowhere to hide, Dylan must find a way to survive until the stroke of midnight or pay the ultimate price.

Written and directed by David Charbonier and Justin Powell (The Boy Behind the Door).

The Mad Descent-Kinogo Pictures production stars Ezra Dewey (The Boy Behind the Door), Rob Brownstein (Velvet Buzzsaw; At the Devil’s Door), Tevy Poe (Redwood Massacre: Annihilation) and John Erickson.

The atmospheric soundtrack score was composed by Matthew James (Useless Humans).

Capsule review:
Utilising just one location to its absolute claustrophobic max, Charbonier and Powell have created a tour-de-force of low-budget creepiness. Although some of the scares are a tad generic they are undeniably effective. Ezra Dewey delivers a superb performance given that so much of the film rests on his young shoulders. The excellent sound design and Matthew James’ electronic score contribute massively to the overall unsettling ambience. The Djinn is definitely worth a watch.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“There’s not an ounce of fat here, just a streamlined story packed with intensity and scares. Charbonier and Powell spin gold out of hay, weaving a chilling fairy tale that keeps you engaged throughout. The Djinn may not reinvent the concept, but it does feel fresh in these filmmakers’ hands.” Bloody Disgusting

“Scares are standard, yet stylized. Plot progression is predictable, yet fully functional. Then The Djinn diverges from routine and one-ups its big studio brethren with an unexpected epilogue. I’m all for heart-rending horror that dares to eschew happy endings and The Djinn delivers a ripper that’s damn near diabolical in its implication.” Culture Crypt

“Though the scares are ephemeral– there’s little in the way of truly haunting material packed within its scant 80-minute runtime– it’s enough fun, and scary enough, while it lasts. The Djinn is a remarkable movie monster, so close your curtains, turn down the lights, and lock yourself in with The Djinn.” Dread Central

“While there have been plenty of movies to explore, the legends and myths of Djinns, Powell and Charbonier successfully chart new territory using seemingly well-worn tropes. The Djinn is scary and harrowing with a shocking and impactful ending. The acting is perfect, and the visuals are a masterclass in creating tension.” Film Threat

The Djinn Is still a tad overstuffed with ideas (the convict is a random person that died escaping prison, and that’s all we learn) but excels where it matters most; thrills, scares, and an empathetic, resourceful lead that fights back just as much as he flights.” Flickering Myth

“Charbonier and Powell are masterful at ratcheting up suspense and writing strong, believable protagonists, as they have proved in both of their films. With The Djinn, Dylan makes decisions that a child in such a situation might, without resorting to bone-headed mistakes that many fear-fare protagonists are saddled with by their writers.” Horror Fuel

” …The Djinn is a masterful work of tension and heart for those willing to give themselves to the story and dig a bit beneath its surface. It situates itself tonally somewhere between Are You Afraid of the Dark’s minimal and kid-centered focus and Tigers Are Not Afraid’s bleak-tinged emotional pull. A strange spot to be, perhaps, but one that works.” Killer Horror Critic

The Djinn is a great example of how indie filmmaking can utilize its shortcomings to make compelling, suspenseful stories with well-thought-out characters and a damn good monster. It’s maybe a little formulaic in its approach but those beats all resonate and all without the lead character uttering a single word! It’s a great example of visual storytelling…” Nightmare on Film Street

The Djinn manages to make a classic careful-what-you-wish-for movie into a sharp, tight, and disturbing little story, without relying on dialogue, multiple locations, or more than a handful of actors. It is the very definition of both “scrappy” and “successful” and still manages to pile scares on scares.” Rue Morgue

“Divisive ending or not […] it’s difficult not to admire what Charbonier and Powell have achieved with The Djinn, working within the confines of a single-setting, a micro-budget, and minimal effects. Relying on a child actor to carry a film with almost dialogue was also a risky proposition, but Charbonier and Powell chose extremely well.” Screen Anarchy

“It’s single location and minimal but creative use of special effects makes its production budget relatively small. However, its emotional impact is massive. The Djinn is the future of horror not just in standout performances by its young featured actor but in its ability to craft stories that stay with us long after we have watched them.” Signal Horizon Magazine

“The suspense is built from visuals and sound effects and music (a particularly solid ’80s-synth score by Matthew James), and there is strong use of both, as well as low-budget visual effects and makeup that haunt us throughout the film’s 82 minutes […] That Charbonier and Powell pull it off as successfully as they do is why The Djinn leaves us with chills, and feeling good about what we just saw as an experience.” Sonic Cinema

“Little Ezra Dewey puts in a great performance as Dylan, and without an ounce of precociousness. The lack of dialogue throughout probably helps, in that respect. The Djinn is an old story, effectively told – a brutally tense and stylish little shocker…” Starburst

“Alternating tense scenes of Dylan creeping about the darkened house or hiding from the creature with some terrific jumps scares and well-staged confrontations, The Djinn makes the most of its small cast and limited settings to keep the audience on edge and off guard for most of the film. And that includes an ending that I certainly wasn’t expecting.” Voices from the Balcony

Release date:
The Djinn was released in the USA On-Demand by IFC Midnight on May 14th 2021.

Co-filmmakers David Charbonier and Justin Powell have commented: “It is an honour to work with IFC Midnight on The Djinn. We made this story to test what we could do with limited resources but as we developed the film it became something very special to us. We look forward to sharing the movie with audiences nationwide and collaborating with our great distribution partner!”

Cast and characters:
Ezra Dewey … Dylan Jacobs
Rob Brownstein … Michael Jacobs
Tevy Poe … Michelle Jacobs
John Erickson … The Djinn
Donald Pitts … The Old Man
Jilbert Daniel … Mover
Isaiah Dell … The Boy in Pink
Collin Joe … The Boy in Red
Omaryus Luckett … The Boy in Blue

Filming locations:
Burbank, California

Technical details:
82 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

Not to be confused with the British horror film Devil Djinn (2021).



MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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