ImageNation Abu Dhabi has released its first trailer for Tobe Hooper’s Djinn, a film produced by the fledgling UAE film industry for American audiences.
Tobe Hooper is the American filmmaker who co-produced, co-wrote, and directed the genre defining classic film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Though he’s worked only sparingly since, he’s kept up with the trends of American horror.
Hooper has taken this sensibility to the UAE, where he used an American-sized film budget to make a film for American audiences with UAE cast and locations. Essentially, the plot is the Middle Eastern equivalent of the ‘mansion built on an ancient native burial grounds’ plotline.
The monster here is the interesting part, however. A Djinn is a fairly versatile mythological figure in the Middle East - sort of like the Western ‘fairy.' Of course, the version of the story that Westerners are typically familiar with is the ‘Genie’ from the translated tales of the Arabian Nights, and for most Americans, we’ve just got the Robin Williams version of that character.
Djinn are really much deeper than that, though, and to watch a film with this level of authenticity and mythological basis is quite a rare treat. From the trailer it looks to be more of a creepy movie than a startle flick, as well, so it may even be tolerable to see in the theater.
No word if the film’s Arabic-language dialogue will be subtitled or dubbed, but it probably will be subtitled if Hooper sees the mystery of the language as part of the exoticism, or creep factor, of the film.
The official synopsis is thus:
DJINN tells the nightmarish story of a young Emirati couple who return home from the U.S. and discover that their new apartment in a luxury high-rise built on the site of an abandoned fishing village is also home to the malevolent beings known as Djinn.
Tobe Hooper's Djinn is in post-production, but no release date has yet been announced. There are some rumors that the film may be in legal or political trouble with the UAE rulers, but these are as yet unfounded, and have been denied by Hooper’s production team, blaming instead the newness of the film industry in the UAE for the film’s uncertain release date.