Director – Alex Turner
Cast – Shane West, Leonard Roberts, J. K. Simmons, Aldis Hodge, Callum Blue, Brendan Miller, Theo Rossi
Release Year – 2009
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Here is an interesting idea for a horror film. Although there have been horror films having to do with military, this is the first one that I have seen having to do with the war in Afghanistan. A group of soldiers are sent to patrol an area believed to be used by the Taliban to move weapons undetected. Soon after arriving at their patrol area they discover an ancient statue on the side of a mountain. Muslims generally do not worship idols, so this statue is believed to contain a Djinn inside of it. The Afghani people believe that long ago there were super beings on Earth, way before mankind existed. They were made from a smokeless fire, and could take the shape of anything they wished, however they could also be imprisoned inside objects(basically where the story of “Alladin“ came from). Anywho, one of the idiot soldiers manages to break the statue apart and basically without knowing…released the Djinn that was imprisoned inside the statue. The soldiers must then battle this evil Djinn in the lonesome desert around them as they slowly fall victim to this hateful being.
I really liked the concept of the plot, the soldiers being isolated in a desert with an evil being imprisoning them really attracted me to checking out this flick. The beginning of the film really grabs your attention as is sets the mood to be a really good, creepy flick(especially once the strange Afghani chick shows up). I also just plain love movies that have guns in them, and this naturally, has guns in it!
Unfortunately, this film did not do much with this awesome plot. This film moved really slow, and by the time things get going, they really are not that great anyway. The CGI in this film was really lame, had it been better I’m sure the scares would have actually given me goosebumps a few times. All in all the story is the biggest flaw, this film really could have been developed into a much better flick. I guess director Alex Turner really struck out with this one after directing the cult hit “Dead Birds”.
Overall, only check this out if you like slow, story driven horror flicks that use crappy CGI. This could have been much better, but maybe you will see something I didn’t.