Rated: R
Release Date: 05/13/2021
Production Company: IFC Midnight

Ezra Dewey, Tevy Poe and Rob Brownstein.

Directors: Justin Powell and David Charbonier. Producers: Carter Armstrong, Ryan Scaringe and Meghan Weinstein. Executive Producers: Justin Powell, David Charbonier, Jilbert Daniel and Justin Powell. Screenwriters: Justin Powell and David Charbonier. Cinematographer: Julian Estrada.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

With their latest horror movie “The Djinn,” filmmakers Justin Powell and David Charbonier (“The Boy Behind the Door”) have crafted a tightly wound and creepy little thriller that piles on plenty of frightening and well-earned jump scares.

Powell and Charbonier directed, wrote and co-executive produced “The Djinn.” spoke with them during a recent Zoom interview about making the movie on a shoestring budget. Check out what else they had to say: Click here to listen

What’s most impressive about the “The Djinn” aside from its nail-biting premise, is the film’s lead star Ezra Dewey (TV’s “Criminal Minds”). This kid is a real gem.

In “The Djinn,” Dewey plays a 12-year-old mute named Dylan. He’s still coping with the tragic loss of his mother Michelle (Tevy Poe, “Redwood Massacre: Annihilation”) and trying to adjust to living with his radio DJ father Michael (Rob Brownstein, TV’s “Mom”) in their new, small apartment.

When his father leaves to work the graveyard shift, Dylan’s curiosity gets the best of him. He starts looking around the place. He finds a grimoire, a book of supernatural spells in a closet that was apparently left behind by the previous occupants. It’s called the Book of Shadows. In it, are instructions that if followed properly promises to make whatever you wish for come true.

More than anything Dylan wants to speak. So, he takes a chance and goes through the motions of lighting a candle, and some other steps. At first nothing happens. Then some of the appliances in the place start turning on and off and other things go bump in the night before the Djinn spirit is unleashed.

The Djinn manifests itself in smokey, dark, mysterious, and scary ways. It attempts to take Dylan’s soul. But this kid is no pushover. He smartly fights back in the cleverest ways imaginable.
Time is of the essence. Dylan must survive everything the Djinn throws at him before the night is over so that his wish will be granted.

I love the stripped-down simplicity of “The Djinn” and I was particularly impressed with the way the filmmakers used the claustrophobic confines of a small apartment to deliver such palpable fear.

I can’t say enough about Ezra Dewey. He really carries “The Djinn” even without uttering much dialogue. He convincingly sells the film’s intense terror and horror throughout its lean 82-minutes run time.

I’m looking forward to seeing him in other movies and what filmmakers Justin Powell and David Charbonier will treat horror fans to next.

“The Djinn” opens May 14 in select theaters and on various streaming platforms.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Watch This Trailer For "THE DJINN"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Year Released: 2020
Running Time: 94
Production Company: Paramount
Director: Arthur A. Seidelman
Director of Photography: Hanania Baer
Screenwriter: Mark McClafferty, Clint Smith, Mark E. Corry, Lin Marlin and Sam Egan
Author: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: There are a handful of Christmas movies that I absolutely must watch the week before Christmas.

They include: "The Preacher's Wife," with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. It's a remake of the 1947 film, "The Bishop's Wife" starring Cary Grant and Loretta Young.

Then there's of course, "It's a Wonderful Life," followed by "Frosty the Snowman," Rudolph...
Prior to his TV and film career, Michael Warren was a standout basketball player for which of the following colleges?
San Francisco State University--Gators
University California, Los Angeles--Bruins
Cal State University San Bernardino--Coyotes
University of San Francisco--Dons