Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper helps jumpstart the Arab horror movie industry

Illustration for article titled Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper helps jumpstart the Arab horror movie industry

Horror is the universal language, translating easily from English to Arabic. That's according to scare flick master Tobe Hooper, whose movies Poltergeist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (among others) revolutionized the genre and left lasting scars on a whole generation of kids. Now Hooper is going to the UAE to direct Djinn, a movie that sounds like another classic - with the added attraction of being made in a place where homegrown horror movies are a brand-new thing. Too cool.

He's working with UAE company Imagenation, and here's the lowdown on the film:

Penned by U.S writer David Tully (Hepzibah), this unique new take on the haunted house thriller uncovers the dark truth behind classic fairytales of the Genie. DJINN tells the nightmarish story of a young Emirati couple who return home from the U.S. and discover that their new apartment in a luxury high-rise built on the site of an abandoned fishing village is also home to the malevolent beings known as Djinn. Emirati director Nayla Al Khaja, behind the short films Once, Arabana, and Malal (premiering at the Dubai International Film Festival this month), will work as a cultural consultant on DJINN. Khaja will shadow Hooper on the set and train with him in preparation to helm her first feature length horror film.


Hooper said: "This movie will scare everyone, no matter where you live or what you believe in!"

I'm always excited to see horror flicks emerging in countries that have fantastically scary myths but no B-movies. Not since the Pakistani burst of awesomeness known as Hell's Ground have I been so psyched to see supernatural craziness. Filming starts in March.

Image by Tonic

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Djinn are hot right now. There is a trend in UFO research equating the grey aliens with Djinn and at least two books coming out on the subject.