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Tobe Hooper Returns With DJINN!

Nordling here.

Now this is an interesting idea for a horror film.  Many horror films are based on Christian belief systems, or we get the routine slasher film.  Tobe Hooper, who brought us the quintessential slasher classic THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and one of the greatest haunted house movies in POLTERGEIST, is back to direct DJINN, based on the script by David Tully, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The horror film is about a family who return to the United Arab Emirates from the United States, only to find that the high rise they're moving into is also home to ancient evil creatures from Arab folklore known as the Djinn.  Emirati director Nayla Al Khaja will be a consultant to the film and also train with Hooper for her own feature-length film.

We all know Hooper can bring the scary, and as he said, "Simply put, this movie will scare everyone, no matter where you live or what you believe in."  It's nice to see a director of Hooper's caliber diving into different stories and backgrounds to find cool and interesting subjects for his horror films.  Looking forward to this one.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • And how many years has it been since Tobe made a decent film? I like the fact that the story sounds original, though....that counts for a lot these days.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    sounds good.

    by scadamz

    i`m in.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Ha ha ha I completely mis-read that as well

    by biffy88

    Thought Tom Hooper was directing that. Accepting his Oscar for it "After weeks of being haunted Mum gave me a call and said "Tom, I've found your next film".

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:52 a.m. CST

    One movie: The Mangler

    by sott68

    Salems lot & Poltergeist - only good movies he has made. the Manglers was so bad I cant believe that he would put it on his resume.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Hah I didn't even catch that.

    by Nordling

    Different Hooper, altogether.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:57 a.m. CST

    I saw this movie, it was called wishmaster

    by jeremy3681

    Im not doubting that this will be better than wishmaster, its just that its not a completely original idea

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:57 a.m. CST

    "evil creatures from Arab folklore known as the Djinn"

    by newc0253

    Or, to use the more common term, "Genies".<p> but i guess it wouldn't sound so scary if they called it 'Genie'.<p> maybe they could get Robin Williams to play the Djinn...

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:57 a.m. CST

    F. Gary Gray Directs Snoop Dogg

    by Aquatarkusman

    in Djinn and Juice.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Other Djinn Films

    by Green

    Didn't Wes Craven produce a film called WISHMASTER years ago? As I recall, that was about people who come into the thrall of an evil Djinn. Not that I mind another film exploring this mythology. Vampires and werewolves are not the only creatures people can make movies about. There are so many wonderful myths from around the globe that can be realized on film; major bucks go to the moviemakers who can figure a way to bring them to life for an international audience.

  • I think you mean Steven Spielberg.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Wishmaster V, anyone?

    by nman45

    But Hooper's cool. Just haven't seen a great flick from him in 25 yrs, maybe 20 if you don't mind his 'Phantom'.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:07 p.m. CST


    by TheComedian77

    I think you know Spielberg didn't direct that film. At least I hope you do.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    D.vader - Spielberg PRODUCED Poltergeist, you tit!

    by irishraidersfan

    Not know how to use Google, huh?

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Conan will kill it at the end by smashing a ruby

    by UltraTron

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST


    by Zombieflicker

    It was just a stab to Hooper. There is much speculation that Spielberg tampered with the making of Poltergeist that a lot of the cast and crew that that he should have been credited with directing the film. You can't say anything bad about Lifeforce though!! Except that it was batshit crazy!! In a good way!

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:17 p.m. CST

    "thought that

    by Zombieflicker

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    irishraidersfan, thecomedian77

    by spire_walk

    Fairly popular film legend that Spielberg was the one really directing, and Hooper directed in name only. Per wikipedia: A clause in his contract with Universal Studios prevented Spielberg from directing any other film while preparing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.[4] Time and Newsweek tagged the summer of 1982 "The Spielberg Summer" because E.T. and Poltergeist were released a week apart in June. As such a marketable name, some began to question Spielberg's role during production. Suggestions that Spielberg had greater directorial influence than the credits suggest were aided by comments made by the writer/producer: "Tobe isn't... a take-charge sort of guy. If a question was asked and an answer wasn't immediately forthcoming, I'd jump in and say what we could do. Tobe would nod agreement, and that become the process of collaboration."[5] The Directors Guild of America "opened an investigation into the question of whether or not Hooper's official credit was being denigrated by statements Spielberg has made, apparently claiming authorship." Co-producer Frank Marshall told the Los Angeles Times that "the creative force of the movie was Steven. Tobe was the director and was on the set every day. But Steven did the design for every storyboard and he was on the set every day except for three days when he was in Hawaii with Lucas." However, Hooper claimed that he "did fully half of the storyboards."[4] The Hollywood Reporter printed an open letter from Spielberg to Hooper in the week of the film's release. Regrettably, some of the press has misunderstood the rather unique, creative relationship which you and I shared throughout the making of Poltergeist. I enjoyed your openness in allowing me... a wide berth for creative involvement, just as I know you were happy with the freedom you had to direct Poltergeist so wonderfully. Through the screenplay you accepted a vision of this very intense movie from the start, and as the director, you delivered the goods. You performed responsibly and professionally throughout, and I wish you great success on your next project.[6] Several members of the Poltergeist cast and crew have over the years consistently alleged that Spielberg was the 'de facto director' of the picture, while other actors have claimed Hooper directed the film. In a 2007 interview with Ain't It Cool News, Rubinstein discussed her recollections of the shooting process. She said that "Steven directed all six days" that she was on set: "Tobe set up the shots and Steven made the adjustments." She also alleged that Hooper "allowed some unacceptable chemical agents into his work," and at her interview felt that time "Tobe was only partially there."[7]

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:22 p.m. CST

    RE: Hooper Vs. Spielberg

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Look, for TCM alone, I'm always going to have respect for Hooper, but anyone who watches "Poltergeist" and doesn't see that Spielberg had his hands all over it, despite official credit to the contrary, is just not facing reality. Tobe may have called "Action" and "Cut" on the set, but there's no question it's a Spielberg film.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:46 p.m. CST

    The silent D in Djinn makes them even more foreign sounding

    by Yannick T

    and evil. OOOOOOOOOH!

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:48 p.m. CST

    A Poltergeist movie actually directed by Hooper...

    by spire_walk

    ...Would have been much grittier, and less family friendly.

  • should be attributed to Spielberg. He was more hands on with the direction than what the credits say. Poltergeist looks like nothing like what Hooper had done up to that point, and tonally is more akin to Spielberg's films.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Rub the building three times and make a wish

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    Oh yea...right there....keep rubbing... I've asked this before but has anyone come forward about the whole Spielberg/Hooper thing? ET came out soon after Poltergeist was released. How could Spielberg split his time between two films, both classics in there own right, with such close release dates? According to Wiki ;" Co-producer Frank Marshall told the Los Angeles Times that "the creative force of the movie was Steven. Tobe was the director and was on the set every day. But Steven did the design for every storyboard and he was on the set every day except for three days when he was in Hawaii with Lucas." Maybe the best argument is look at Tobe's post-Poltergeist career. Invaders From Mars would be the best material to duplicate the Poltergeist feeling, and Hooper came up really short.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Wishmaster is the only horror series...

    by mbg98

    That my wife actually enjoys - and she HATES horror movies. Hates Freddy, hates Jason, hates Michael Myers. Because they're just dumb and bloody. The Wishmaster is awesome because of one reason - Andrew Divoff is awesome and fucking hilarious while at the same time being scary as hell with NO makeup. If this "Djinn" idea is going be to be worthwhile as a horror film, then cheezy special effects and gore (although appreciated) aren't going to be what makes it a good horror film - it's the idea that no matter what you wish for, it's going to fuck you in the end. People getting their "wishes" turned into reality with often horrifying results is the ultimate "fuck you" to people who think that if they only had one wish their lives would be so much better.... it's a scary thought to think that wishing for your hearts desire is going to be worse than what your life is like right now. Monkey's Paw, anyone?

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 1:11 p.m. CST

    irishraidersfan, you tit

    by D.Vader

    Of course Hooper was "credited" as the director, but everyone knows that it was Spielberg who practically directed the thing himself. Not know how to use Google, do you? The comedian77, I know the score. I was making a funny joke, though some people didn't pick up on it. But you could tell something was up, couldn't you =).

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Andrew Divoff, aka Patchy aka Mikhail on LOST

    by D.Vader

    Yes, he is indeed awesome.

  • " In a 2007 interview with Ain't It Cool News, Rubinstein discussed her recollections of the shooting process. She said that "Steven directed all six days" that she was on set: "Tobe set up the shots and Steven made the adjustments." She also alleged that Hooper "allowed some unacceptable chemical agents into his work," and at her interview felt that time "Tobe was only partially there.""

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    I assume-

    by Hyphin

    That when they talk about 'djinn' from 'Arab folklore', they are talking about the Jinn. Regardless of the spelling, in THAT case, they aren't exactly just 'ancient evil creatures'. In fact, the Jinn are very well established in Abrahamic faith, as beings that exist, as Humans and Angels do. Interestingly, they aren't inherently 'evil', as they possess 'free will', and will even be judged on The Day of Judgement of Abrahamic tradition. I've attached a link, if you're interested. I know, I know, it's Wikipedia, but still. As a Muslim, it's interesting to see the Jinn described as an 'ancient evil creature'. Hmm. One thing's for sure, 'jinn stories' beat ghost stories ANY. DAY. OF THE WEEK. *Shiver*. Link:

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Djinn in Supernatural

    by pachaim

    Fans of Supernatural might recall the Djinn draining people's life force while keeping them in an ideal dream world.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 1:50 p.m. CST

    ok this is spooky,

    by teddy_duchamp

    I was reading this article when the song Jenny Jenny by Little Richard came on my itunes random selection. He sounds like he's singing jinn, Jinn Jinn!!!! fuck we're gonna die man!! we're gonna die!!

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST


    by spire_walk

    Djinn and Faerie Folk are pretty much identical in behavior and most descriptions. Sometimes they help you, sometimes they fuck you over. Usually territorial to the point where they want everything else on their land to fuck off and die. They won't follow a person like a Poltergeist, or usually don't become attached to one person, though if it wanted to hold a grudge I'm sure it could hound one person. Pretty much an internet troll with godlike powers. Pretty fucking creepy.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 1:57 p.m. CST


    by RowKseat25

    covered this in his Afghan horror movie about CIA and special forces up against scary genies... the fact is Djinn are the closest Islam gets to supernatural spooks... as unlike other faiths, that religion doesn't really believe in spirits... or Hollywood/Christian take on evil spirit forms... it's all an unknown left in the hands of the big bearded one... God willing.

  • folklore, Arabic and otherwise. "Wishmaster' was just basically a Monkey`s Paw story using the Djinn as it`s villian. I could be wrong, but I don`t even think the Djinn really granted wishes or anything like that....the confusion comes from the fact that the concept of a 'genie' evolved from the concept of the Djinn. Also keep in mind that Hooper hasn`t directed anything good in years. "Crocodile" and "Toolbox Murders" were passable timewasters at best (and THAT`S being generous). And from what I understand his last movie "Mortuary" was awful. As for "Poltergeist"...dude, just watchthe damn movie. tell me that wasn`t all Speilberg. The scene where the mother hears Carol Anne`s voice and starts looking all around the room all teary-eyed, with dramatic music playing? If that ain`t 100% '80s-era Speilberg, I don`t know what is. For a comparison, let`s look at 1984`s "Gremlins": Speilberg produced it, but you can tell it`s a Joe Dante film.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 2:52 p.m. CST

    djinns in islam

    by amin

    djinns are islamic creatures. in the Quran it's said they were created before men, angels gave them powers but they corrupted these powers. it's also said that they are religious beings (their element is fire),some djinns believe in god others are devil worshipers. And King Solomon was the king of djinns, he controlled them using a ring...

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Spielberg famously ghost-directed Poltergeist...

    by performingmonkey

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZING!!!!!!! The fact that it plays as a more claustrophobic E.T. should be the hint that it was really the 'berg's baby.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Tobe or not Tobe

    by Ingeld

    This sounds like a movie I don't need to see.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    First NES game I ever rented.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 5:28 p.m. CST

    what ...

    by Nice Marmot

    .... no love for Eaten Alive . . . ?

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 6:54 p.m. CST

    JINN with darth maul

    by SPECT

    Movie of similar name was just filmed in Michigan called Jinn with Ray park and serinda swan to released soon...check it

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 7:21 p.m. CST

    I pulled up Hooper on IMDB

    by maxjohnson1971

    and just looked at some random topics on the message board about him. Almost every topic ended up addressing the Poltergeist issue. And that was a Speilberg directed movie all the way. You'd have to be blind to not see that.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 9:07 p.m. CST

    I Dig Tobe Hooper...

    by MakNeil

    but he's too uneven as a director. I recall TCM being good, though I haven't seen in quite awhile (I do recall a–for me–an iconic image of Leatherface swinging a chainsaw around an empty road, while a voice-over voices over. Then again that may have been from one of the numerous sequels. I did say it's been awhile). Poltergeist was remarkable, and has aged really well, though there are the rumors that Steven Spielberg directed that. I don't want to believe that though because I want to think that Tobe Hooper is responsible for at least one masterwork, while Steven Spielberg has more than his share. Lifeforce was pretty interesting, though some of the actors did take events as seriously as Steve Railsback, though to be honest I suspect that that was an example of Steve Railsback being Steve Railsback. Then there was a scene with an Army helicopter, that was too clearly a model (I am willing to forgive that, though I can't get the image of that toy out of mind. It's not a deal-breaker, but considering how remarkable the production design was for the film it struck me as odd that a helicopter was where the film crapped out) Then there's Morturary, which the less I say about it, the better. I didn't see Spontaneous Human Combustion, though his unevenness doesn't exactly make me want to track it down. His version of Salem's Lot really worked for me, till I saw how Mikael Solomon's remake was a better film on so many levels (though it is always good to see Lance Kerwin working). 'The Djinn' sounds interesting, though I am afraid that when it comes out direct to DVD–I hope not, but am not holding my breath–I will catch it.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 10:41 p.m. CST

    If you look closely at Texas Chain Saw and

    by ufoclub1977

    think about the conceptual leaps of Salem's Lot from the novel, you will see that Spielberg and Hooper have a lot in common visually the way they frame moments and move the camera (the long high speed lateral dollies, the creep towards the house from low to the gorund and literally under the swing), and also conceptually (the creeping crate, the cape growing into the Nosferatu design, the solar flares). That's most likely why the hiring of Hooper for Poltergeist worked so seamlessly with Spielberg's vibe. I saw both E.T. and Poltergeist 5 times each that summer of '82. A great year and summer for movies that has never been matched.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 10:45 p.m. CST

    not to mention

    by ufoclub1977

    kids in bedrooms with things outside the window, flashlights in the woods... creative camera tricks like running the vampires backwards... of course Hooper took "Americana" into a hyper lunatic level in "Texas-" , but it's not unlike Sugarland Express's realistic casting on PCP.

  • Feb. 28, 2011, 11:07 p.m. CST

    Things I liked about Salem's Lot:

    by spire_walk

    The vampires weren't people, but undead *things.* And the eyes, the fucking eyes were the best. The crate scene. The Marsten House, this grimy piece of shit place that's a total dump. It's like the house from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only alive somehow. Vial of holy water bursting on the cellar floor, burning. Barlow's coffin looked old as fuck.

  • March 1, 2011, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Go D Vader!

    by McDowd

    According to movie lore, Spielberg is believed to be the true director of Poltergeist. Now whether that particular rumor is true or not, anyone who told him to "google it" is an imbecile and needs to get a clue.

  • March 1, 2011, 3:22 a.m. CST

    by chicgoods04

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  • March 1, 2011, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Like to see the Djinn as portayed in Fables

    by dalcross

    Fables Arabian Night TPB. Unstoppable force of nature. Good luck Tobe.

  • March 1, 2011, 6:15 a.m. CST

    I Dream of Djinn!

    by Arafel

  • March 1, 2011, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Wait,a terrorist GHOST,WTF....

    by frank

  • March 2, 2011, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Poltergeist was Spielberg's

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    In the days before the internet, I remember reading an article, (and the net just confirmed it) that JoBeth Williams was scare of the pool scene because of all the lights and equipment around. She didn't want to end up electrocuted. So, to assuage her fears Spielberg got in the water with her. So he's a producer who just showed up that day? Absolutely not. Also, and this was off the net so take it for what it's worth, when the ghost chaser rips his face off, it's Spielberg's hands doing the ripping. A hands-on producer? Again, no.

  • March 2, 2011, 2:05 p.m. CST


    by nolan bautista

    to me it was the rising of Mrs. Glick from the morgue..creepy stuff!

  • March 2, 2011, 7:22 p.m. CST

    nolan re: Salem's Lot

    by spire_walk

    "Danny... Where are you Danny darling?" The makeup job they did for her was one of the most effective I've ever seen. I mean, she looks like a fucking corpse. Her face looked so slack and lifeless. Best fucking vampires ever.