The summer of 1989 brings a new home for twelve-year old Dylan Jacobs, a new start for him and his father Michael in Burbank, California following the death of Dylan’s mother Michelle for which he blames himself. An outsider by circumstance, Dylan is mute, communicating with his father through sign language but not able to easily make friends with the kids in his new neighbourhood.
His father a radio DJ who works evenings, Dylan stays home by himself, listening to his music; aware that the former occupant died in the apartment, in his closet Dylan finds a box of belongings he presumes belonged to the elderly man, candlesticks and tarnished platters and a leather-bound book marked with a pentagram.
The Book of Shadows describing a ritual made with a candle, a clock, a mirror and three drops of blood, Dylan takes the leap, counting down the hours and silently making his vow to the flame, but swirling through the house on the smoke from the burning candle the summoning of the djinn to grant his wish will inevitably come at a heavy cost.
The silence filled with the sound of static and the noise of the air conditioning unit, Criminal Minds’ Ezra Dewey is Dylan, counting down the slow tick of the clock until midnight when he can extinguish the candle and banish the djinn back to the netherworld from which he has summoned it, appearing as human with its true form only revealed in reflection.
Written and directed by David Charbonier and Justin Powell, The Djinn is confined to a single location and built around the performance of a single actor, Dylan fighting to remain brave as his fears manifest, unable to cry for help and prevented from leaving by the malevolent spirit nor even to smash a window to escape, the cracks knitting back together as fast as they form.
Almost entirely reliant on sound rather than dialogue, scrapings and banging within the walls as the djinn lurks just out of sight but never far from Dylan’s thoughts, the film is simple but effective, a dark and twisted fairy tale of want and regret where changes have consequences and what is done cannot be undone.
The Djinn will be released on Friday 24th September