JINN: Bad trailer, good movie?
The fantasy genre has always been big, but since Harry Potter came along, it has just been getting bigger. Fantasy is likely the most widely read genre, with new books about magic and mythology being published every month. Television has also been overflowing with fantasy of late, with shows like Once Upon a Time, American Horror Story, and Game of Thrones growing more and more popular with each new episode. Cinema has been no different, turning many fantasy books into films and releasing some original works of fantasy as well.
On April 4th, the fantasy genre will see a new member to its ranks with the release of Jinn, an original film written and directed by Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad. Jinn revolves around the creature of Arabic mythology from which it takes its name, a demonic being that is not to be confused with a wish-granting genie. While much of the fantasy genre is full of clichés and storylines that have already been done before, this film seeks to focus on a creature that has never before made it onto the big screen. It should be a refreshing change for a genre that, while always exciting, has been stale for quite some time.
While the premise for the film is interesting and unique, a reason in and of itself to go and see it, the trailer for Jinn is quite horrible. It begins with a narrator explaining that, in the beginning of time, there was the creation of three different entities. From clay came man, from light came angels, and from fire came the jinn. The voice is so cheesy that I was expecting some massive punch line, “and then there was a third… Kermet the Frog!” Once you realize it’s a serious movie, there is a brief scene where a male character, possibly the protagonist, is told that if one speaks of the jinn, they will come for him.
Other than that brief introduction to the mythology behind the creature, it is unclear what exactly the storyline is. The entire trailer, from start to finish, is just a series of clips without context, each a split second long and separated by a blank frame that lasts even longer than the scenes shown. None of the scenes are introduced in a way that lets you understand what is going on. Instead, they are all completely random. They could have slipped in a brief advertisement for water heater services and it wouldn’t have even made a difference—that’s how incomprehensible it all was! All you can deduce from the random assortment of clips is that the main characters are having run-ins with jinn.
Unanswered questions (that should have probably been addressed):
- Why are they having run-ins with jinn? Are they being attacked? Did they summon them?
- What do the jinn want from them, or is there something they want from the jinn?
- Is it a horror movie? From the brief clips of jinn that can be seen, they seem pretty scary, almost like demons. And from the style of the trailer—which has short clips that rapidly change back and forth, almost like a rapidly beating heart—it would seem that that is the case, but the film’s not advertised as a horror.
So is the film worth seeing? I think so. But they better come out with a new trailer soon, because this one just isn’t doing it.