God created the three – man, angel and the Jinn. And the Jinn have been waiting for their time to rule again over the dominion of man. This is the basic premise of the horror thriller Jinn (2014) in which Shawn Walker (Dominic Rains) finds himself the unlucky warrior destined to battle the Jinn and be man’s savior.
As written by Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad (who also directed) this is a fairly basic premise as the reluctant hero/savior must go through personal challenges before he is able to open his eyes and face his destiny. What actually works in the film’s favor is the rich back story and mythology associated with this version of the Jinn. Ahmad both through writing and art direction have created a cinematic world that actually makes you believe that this could all be true.
What hampers the film down the most is the fact that it sacrifices suspense and any sense of immediacy in a story that relies too much on the visuals and CGI enhancements. Don’t get me wrong, this is a visually stunning film even on its budget but it takes its pages from the book of such visually stunning yet uninteresting films like Priest (2011) or the Resident Evil films. This would be fine if it was on the entertaining level of those films but there is a lot of set up before you get to any real action and when you do it feels out of place as if you are watching two separate films.
The film follows the tropes of a horror film without being suspenseful but it also tries to marry that with an action film. It is a particularly inventive film and the special FX makeup are top notch with a very haunting look for the “possessed” Jinn as well as the Jinn in its native state as seen at the climax of the film. One is left wondering if this is just a set up for subsequent films and if it is then it would be those films where the franchise would truly shine.