Turkey is probably not one of the first places you think of when horror films are mentioned. And apart from Baskin, they really haven’t gotten much distribution in the West. Netflix, however, has picked up several of Hasan Karacadag’s Dabbe films. Related only by their director supernatural themes involving jinns, they’ve built up a cult following. Having reviewed Dabbe: The Possession I figured it was time to check out another of them, Dabbe 5: Curse of the Jinn (Dabbe: Zehr-i Cin).
Dabbe 5: Curse of the Jinn begins with footage of a woman giving birth in what looks like a cave only to have the baby taken from her and sacrificed in some kind of ritual. From there we move to the home of Dilek (Nil Günal) and Omer (Ümit Bülent Dinçer). In the days leading up to her birthday, Dilek begins to have nightmares. Some of which involve what we saw in the prologue. This quickly escalates to poltergeist type activity, including the number 7730 written on a mirror. Omer is sympathetic but believes there’s a rational explanation. Haran, the boyfriend of her best friend Seyda does a bit of digging however and finds links to the supernatural.
An attempt to discover more backfires and things become worse. A psychic, Bilkis, is called in. But as she deals with the jinn she begins to uncover some secrets about Dilek’s past, especially her childhood. Omer gets fed up with the whole thing and insults Bilkis to the point she walks out. Haran, however, offers to take Dilek back to her hometown to follow up on what they’ve found out.
Dabbe 5: Curse of the Jinn is, at nearly two and a quarter hours, a bit lengthy. That and the fact it’s subtitled will scare some folk off. And unless you’re familiar with Turkish culture and Islamic religion and folklore you’ll need to pay attention to them.
However, if you can get past that Dabbe 5: Curse of the Jinn is a good film with hints of Insidious, Poltergeist, The Evil Dead and a few other films. There are some dull spots, given the length that’s to be expected. For the most part, though there’s enough going on to keep your attention. Karacadag has studied Western horror films well and delivers the tension and jump scares audiences want. He just needs to edit for length and pacing better, at least for international versions.
One thing he should have cut was the final twist. It’s unexpected and has some nice effects attached to it. But it’s unbelievable even in a film where you accept evil spirits and possession. And is immediately contradicted by the pictures and text at the end saying what happened to everyone involved. It’s the film’s one big misstep.
Overall though Dabbe 5: Curse of the Jinn is worth a watch. And since it’s on Netflix it won’t cost you extra.