With the announcement that Djinn is to be receiving its world premiere at this year’s Abu Dhabi Film Festival, regional horror fans are finally getting the chance to watch the UAE’s first supernatural thriller, more than three years after it was announced.
Shot predominantly in Ras Al Khaimah and directed by the scream legend Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), Djinn follows the tale of an Emirati couple who discover that their new luxury apartment isn’t all that it seems, having been built over an abandoned fishing village haunted by local spirits. Years before they move in, flashbacks show an American backpacker being introduced to the concept of Djinn by two Emiratis.
Starring the Bahrain-born Khalid Laith (The Devil’s Double) and the Lebanese actress Razane Jammal, the film was among the first of Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s original slate of Emirati films to go into production. But there were rumours of walkouts on set and trouble regarding some of the film’s religious content. Filming wrapped up in mid-2011, but months later a blog said that some scenes would have to be reshot, a claim denied by the producers.
After numerous delays, a trailer for Djinn finally emerged, showing haunted goings-on in dimly lit corridors. However, planned release dates continued to pass by unmet. Image Nation said that the film was stuck in post-production, with the film’s horror elements requiring a lot of computer graphics and special effects.
But with sales of the film launched at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year and today’s news regarding the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Film Festival programme, the film that many had thought might never see the light of day is finally heading to a cinema screen.
We’ve waited a long time to be frightened. Let’s just hope it does the job.
Djinn is screening Friday October 25, 6pm at Emirates palace.
To see the official trailer for Djinn click here