‘The Djinn’ Grants a Great Child Performance but Falls Short of a Horror Wish Come True

Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer

Plot: A mute boy is trapped in his apartment with a sinister monster when he makes a wish to fulfill his heart’s greatest desire.

Review: The best horror movie ever made about djinn (otherwise known as genies, and not the singing and dancing kind) was Wishmaster, and that’s kinda sad if you ask me. A manipulative supernatural being that can grant wishes? The horror practically writes itself! Sadly Wishmaster still holds the crown as The Djinn, while it has some solid things going for it, doesn’t have enough to count it as one of the great ones.

When your Dad makes good on his promise to throw out your Xbox

I think this one would’ve been much more effective as a horror short than as a full feature length film. The pacing here is really slow and even when things get going a lot of it feels repetitive, like they were padding for time. Yep, if this was one of those 15-minute horror shorts on YouTube it would’ve been the kind everyone talks about.

A huge reason I enjoyed this movie was the actor who carried it from beginning to end. Ezra Dewey (Criminal Minds franchise, Everything Before Us) plays Dylan and the fact he couldn’t be more than 13 years-old and he’s the ONLY lead actor in this movie is nothing short of astonishing. I compared it to my recent viewing of Oxygen, another movie where there’s only one actor onscreen telling the story, but that actress is a full-grown adult with years of experience. Ezra has the responsibility of keeping you invested in his story and does so splendidly. Did I mention his character doesn’t speak?! Yes, this young man has to give us terror, joy, pain, and sadness while never saying a word and being the sole protagonist for most of the runtime. And he’s a large part of why I enjoyed this story.

Seriously? You think I’m going to fall for that?

Sadly the movie doesn’t have the tight editing or swift pacing it needed to truly be a winner. Most of the effects are digital, which pulls you out of the movie. And while I did like the design of the djinn, you never see it until the very end. Points for the ending though: it went in a different direction than I was expecting, especially considering our hero is a child. Not something you see very often in these types of films.

So The Djinn is handicapped by a small budget (the movie only has one location), so-so editing, and pacing issues. But with a lesser actor in the lead role, this would have simply have been another less-than-nothing horror movie. All props goes to Ezra Dewey. If he can deliver a performance like this at 13, I can’t wait to see what he does as he gets older.

Sommer’s Score: 5 out of 10

You can check out more child-centric horror articles below:

Netflix Austrian Kids Horror ‘The Strange House’ is Entertaining, but Nothing Special
Top 5 Evil Kids in Horror Movies

2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

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