Jinn, a 2014 movie staring Dominic Rains with supporting actors Ray Park and William Atherton, is so lost that even the people trying to sell it can’t decided what the movie is about.
An earthly crisis prompts a race of beings called the jinn, who’ve walked invisibly among us since the beginning of time, to make themselves known.
Shawn, an automotive designer, enjoys an idyllic life with his new wife Jasmine until it is interrupted by a cryptic message. The message warns of imminent danger and a curse that has afflicted his family for generations. Having lost his parents as a child, Shawn doesn’t believe this unsettling revelation of his past….until strange things start to happen. Unable to explain the threats and fearing for his life, Shawn turns to Gabriel and Father Westhoff, a mysterious duo claiming to have answers. With their help, and the aid of Ali, a shackled mental patient, Shawn discovers that there is far more to this world than he ever imagined. These revelations set Shawn on a collision course with the unknown, and he alone must find the strength protect his family and confront the ancient evil that is hunting them.
After receiving a cryptic message from his past, Shawn Walker learns of an ancient curse haunting his family. He discovers man is not alone on this planet… and that he is in the middle of a war between good and evil that has waged on for centuries.
Rotten Tomatoes’ description
In the beginning, three were created. Man made of clay. Angels made of light. And a third made of fire. For centuries, stories of angels and men have captured the imagination and been etched into history crossing all boundaries of culture, religion and time. These two races have dominated the landscape of modern mythology, shrouding the evidence that a third was ever created. This third race, born of smokeless fire, was named the jinn. Modern man has all but forgotten this third race ever existed. It is time for him to remember.
That last one is the opening monologue of the film.
The movie opens in India, circa 1901. A man enters a cave, reciting scripture passages, and occasionally addressing a slumped figure sitting in the middle of the cave.
The man says that it can keep the body, but he wants the girl back. He throws some random things in the corners (mirrors?). I kept thinking, these mirrors are going to do something important, like trap the creature. That was my own foolishness, they ended up doing nothing. The guy confronts the demon creature, falls in a hole, climbs out, throws some water in the creature’s face (which only serves to enrage it) and pulls out a dagger. At this point the creature says it is going to kill him, and his children, and his children’s children, and so forth. You might be thinking, wait, if he kills him AND his children, that should pretty much end the line right? RIGHT? We’ll get back to that.
Flash forward to the present day, in Michigan. Shawn is some kind of car designer. He has random car decorations in his house (like a hood) and drives some kind of special edition Camaro that looks like a Firebird, called the FireBreather. That may seem like a lot of information about a car in a movie about Jinn, but don’t worry, we’ll get back to that as well. As Shawn is sitting around his house doodling, his wife Jasmine (Serinda Swan) answers the door and receives a mysterious package. She doesn’t need to sign for it, and it is very poorly wrapped. Shawn opens it (because in this world he has never heard of terrorists) and discovers a VHS tape inside. His wife wisely questions how they would even watch a VHS tape in this day and age, but for some reason Shawn conveniently has a player at his work.
Shawn watches the tape and discovers is a message from his deceased father, just before he and his mother died in a fire that consumed their house. He says Shawn comes from a long line of special people who can fight these demons called Jinn. His father says that there are people who will help him, and that Shawn needs to succeed where he failed.
Shawn returns home to find that his apartment has been randomly rearranged and his wife is missing. He calls the police, only to have his wife return home and they realize that nothing is actually missing. They put everything back and go to bed. Shawn has a nightmare about the night his parents died. He remembers seeing someone in the fire. He wakes up and goes to get some water, only to see that his furniture has been rearranged again. Him and his wife look out their window at the strange silhouette (I forgot to mention a creepy silhouette in the window across the street). Earlier the wife speculated it was a movie cutout. Not surprisingly, as they are staring at it, it moves. At this point, I would like to mention that this movie is supposed to be a suspense horror. It is neither of those things.
The next morning Shawn tells his wife he’d like to have a child. She says she has a dark secret, she is incapable of having children. She says he understands if he wants to leave her for his. Shawn, being the super jerk that he is, DOES leave her, to go to work. Shawn is at work, and he receives a mysterious call saying he has to go to a church. For some reason he does this. At the church he meets Gabriel (Ray Park) and Father Westhoff (William Atherton). These two guys knew his father, and want to help him stop this Jinn uprising once and for all. They say that as soon as one of his family members has an heir, the Jinn kill the parents. So when that Jinn from the beginning said he was going to kill the guy’s children’s children and all that, he meant it. This Jinn patiently waits for the next male heir to have a kid, then he strikes. Anyways, Shawn doesn’t believe them, but Father Westhoff gives him a magic dagger just in case. I’m just going to call it the Ajanti Dagger.
Anyways, he takes the dagger. Also Gabriel says the Jinn is hunting him because he has a male heir. How’s that? Oh yeah Jasmine is pregnant. Also, she’s been kidnapped. No one seems all that concerned about the kidnapping though. Shawn just kind of meanders around, occasionally saying stuff like “what is next on the bucket list before we find my missing wife?” (not a direct quote). Ray Park (which I have decided is now the star of the show) goes to a mental institution (Insane Asylum isn’t PC) to see a guy who might be able to help. Turns out it is Shawn’s crazy uncle he didn’t know he had played by Faran Tahir.
His uncle tried to take this mental test of worthiness and he lost his mind because he failed it. Now he is insisting that Shawn take the same test. As they are talking to the estranged uncle somehow the Jinn starts taking over the other patients in the institution. They all start attacking Ray Park and Shawn. This happens to be the highlight of the film. Ray Park gets to go all Darth Maul on these guys. At one point he creates all these little particles of light and goes super slow motion and beats down a bunch of patients, essentially punching the evil spirits out of them. This is also a common treatment plan in modern day institutions. This is by far the most interesting part of the movie. Shawn forgot his keys at the front desk, so Gabriel (Ray Park’s alter ego in this movie) uses his mind to retrieve the keys and get them to Shawn. To bad in the process he gets swarmed by escapees and beaten down. Not even Toad’s spit could save him.
Shawn returns to Father Westhoff, and the good Father starts him on the trial. Shawn then goes through several different times and scenarios, trying to fight the Jinn but failing. Then at some point he taunts the Jinn, and then runs for his car. He jumps in his car and drives off, as the Jinn becomes Lord Voldemort’s wispy flying black cloud thing. Shawn then drives all over town, pleading with his car to ‘show em what we got’ and ‘don’t fail me now.’ Which might sound good, if you had forgotten he was basically just fleeing the creature with no other plan. He drives back to his house and confronts the Jinn again. I can’t remember at what point his dream / trial ended and real life began again, but it doesn’t seem to matter. His suddenly lucid uncle shows up to help him, but is immediately beat up. Then the Jinn grabs Shawn by the throat and lifts him off the ground. Now Shawn has another dream sequence. This time set back in the cave in India, where he suddenly develops telekinetic powers and defeats the Jinn. Then we go back to him being choked by the Jinn, and he is able to grab its throat, there is a struggle, and then they both fall through his window into his pool / water feature. Now at some point Father Westhoff had given him a flask of holy water (at least, that is what he calls it). In the pool the flask comes undone and now all the pool water is holy. The Jinn disintegrates.
At this point a bunch of other Jinn warp into town. Shawn takes off his shirt and gets ready to fight them (not sure why that shirt was encumbering him, but I guess it was). The leader says there is no further need for hostilities, and Shawn stabs him in the head. Man is always the aggressor in these kinds of things. Shawn finally remembers his wife was kidnapped, and demands they give her to him. The remaining Jinn just teleport away. Shawn returns to the church and discovers his wife, who apparently had been kidnapped by Gabriel, you know, for safe keeping, was there the whole time. Also somehow Gabriel is alive. Now, during the movie it was said Gabriel was Jinn who was on the side of humans. But I assumed he is an Angel, since all this power is highlighted with white light, instead of the red fire we see other Jinn using, and he is named after an angel. But that question is left for a sequel, or something.
Flash forward a year, the baby is born and Uncle Ali now lives with them. As they are preparing breakfast, the baby’s pacifier falls to the ground. Before any of the adults can pick it up, the baby uses telekinesis to get it back. Everyone just kind of sits there and looks at the baby. Roll credits. After the credits we see that same cave scene with a Jinn sitting. In this 97 minute movie I’m pretty sure that cave scene represented about 400 minutes of the film.