Originally titled Evil Genie and Devil Djinn, Conjuring the Genie is the latest film from writer/director Scott Jeffrey (HellKat, Cupid). Regular readers will know I’ve reviewed several films he’s written and/or directed and even more that he’s produced. And that I rarely have much good to say about them. Will this be one of the times he gets it right, or will I be wishing I’d never heard of this film?
A prologue introduces us to The Djinn (Bao Tieu, The Leprechaun’s Game) as he grants a young woman her wish by making her shove a pair of scissors through her eye. For this, he gets to take her soul.
Morgan (Megan Purvis, The Young Cannibals, Don’t Knock Twice) has been having a hard time of it since her father died. She’s been avoiding her mother (Nicola Wright, Witches of Amityville Academy) and skipping classes at university. The latter may be due to confusion as it looks like a middle school (it’s the same one Jeffrey used in Rise of the Mummy). Her professor (Ryan Davies) gives her an assignment on urban legends to make up for what she’s missed.
Through a website, she finds Daniel (Ben Reid, Prototype) who does “Urban Legend Summonings”. He summons up a “Wishing Demon” from a familiar-looking amulet for her and her friends. Morgan, having maybe never read The Monkey’s Paw, wishes for her father back.
Wishmaster Goes to England, I mean Conjuring the Genie, is about as flat and lifeless as it gets. At times it doesn’t even make sense. One of the girls wishes to be seen as perfect, so he’s transformed into a mannequin. That’s not what I’d call perfection. Another who wished she was pregnant ends up with a pregnancy on fast forward then is told she’s going to become a mummy. Which might have worked if she had wished to be a mommy rather than just pregnant.
Much of Conjuring the Genie revolves around Morgan and her wish. For someone who is supposed to be a college student, she’s not very bright. She can’t seem to understand that people are going to wonder what’s going on when they see her dead father walking around. Or why one of her friends would have a bad feeling about the whole thing and want to find out just what they summoned.
This leads to one of Conjuring the Genie’s many gaffes. He tracks him down by his website’s IP address. That would lead to his web host, not his apartment. At another point, a woman escapes out of a window she could barely get her arm through.
Conjuring the Genie’s Djinn itself doesn’t look anything like the beings from Arab folklore. It’s a rather generic-looking monster whose mask doesn’t let its mouth move when it talks. There’s no gore either, but with this being a Scott Jeffrey film that’s not a shock. Effects cost money and slow down filming. Can’t be having that when you’re cranking out a film a month on budgets made up from change found between sofa cushions.
Can I say anything good about Conjuring the Genie? It’s not quite as bad as either of Jeffrey’s Mummy films. And it is free to watch, having gone straight to the FFF Full Free Films YouTube channel. Yes, there are commercials, but they’re the only thing that kept me awake.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Somebody must like Scott Jeffrey’s films or he wouldn’t be making so many of them. I’ve just never met anyone who did. If you’re a fan then here you go. Enjoy Conjuring the Genie, one of us has to.