25th May2021

‘Conjuring the Genie’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Sarah T. Cohen, Megan Purvis, Barbara Dabson, Bao Tieu, Nicola Wright, Stephanie Lodge, Sam Woodhams, Antonia Johnstone, Amanda-Jade Tyler, Jamie Robertson, Ryan Davies, May Brown, Ben Reid, Max Been, Kate Sandison | Written and Directed by Scott Jeffrey

UK horror uber-producer Scott Jeffrey is back behind the camera as writer and director of Conjuring the Genie, aka Evil Genie, aka Devil Djinn, the latest film from his Jagged Edge Productions. This time round we’re following a formula the Jeffrey started in last years Cupid and continued in the last Jagged Edge film I reviewed, Rise of the Mummy… A bunch of students get tangled up in the supernatural and pay the price. Cupid saw teenagers summon Cupid and get killed one by one; Rise of the Mummy had a student steal a mummy’s amulet awakening it and unleashing it on the rest of the students at a college, all of whom get killed one by one.

Here we get a traumatised student Morgan, going back to college and tasked with completing an assignment – investigate an urban legend. Which one? Well she can’t decide so she goes on the web and finds a dodgy website which promises, if she has four friends, to summon a spirit. In this case the “wishing demon” aka a djinn… The same djinn who granted the wish of a girl in the epilogue to never see him again. Of course the djinn can’t be taken at his word – the first girl to cross his path stabs her own eyes out. So she LITERALLY can’t ever see the djinn again! And guess what happens to this gang? The all get killed one by one.

I sense a pattern in Jeffrey’s recent films! Taking a classic horror trope and setting it up against a bunch of kids in school. Cupid, the Mummy, here it’s all about the Monkey’s Paw – that classic “be careful what you wish for” story that sees wishes coming with an enormous price for the wisher. It’s a story we’ve seen a million times before, including the recent The Djinn (review coming soon), The Lamp (1987) and the Wishmaster franchise. Like the latter film series, Conjuring the Genie features some truly grotesque outcomes of its wishes granted – perfection means looking like a mannequin; a wish to be pregnant turns someone literally into a mummy, a wish for strength turns a teen into a werewolf… Oh and Morgan wishes for her dead dad to come back to life, which you know isn’t going to end well!

As with his previous features, Conjuring the Genie stars some of Scott Jeffrey’s usual ensemble cast: Antonia Johnstone, who has worked behind and in front of the camera on a number of Jeffrey’s films including Rise of the Mummy; Ryan Davies, who appeared in Hellkat alongside Sarah T. Cohen, who also appeared in Cupid and Witches of Amityville; Barbara Dabson from the aforementioned Rise of the Mummy and Witches of Amityville; and lead actress here Megan Purvia, who also appeared in Rise of the Mummy and the forthcoming Medusa. Conjuring the Genie also features Bao Tieu – who was great as Cupid in Scott Jeffrey’s 2020 film of the same name and played the leprechaun in Louisa Warren’s The Leprechaun Game – back under the mask as this films djinn, though unfortunately the make-up effects don’t allow Tieu the kind of freedom he had as the aforementioned leprechaun.

In terms of make-up effects, whilst the djinn looks absolutely nothing like any traditional iteration of the mythical demon, there’s a clear delineation between the look this djinn and the demonic genie from 1987’s The Lamp, mixed with a modicum of Jeffrey’s other filmic monsters. Speaking of delineations, there’s a leather-bound “urban legends” book Morgan finds in Conjuring the Genie that looks remarkably like the same “book of demons” from the third Tooth Fairy film – right down to the scribbled text and demon drawings. I wonder if this is intentional of Jeffrey’s was just re-using props (he was a produced on Tooth Fairy 3). I sincerely hope it the former – it would be truly amazing if this book was the link between a myriad of Proportion Productions, Champ Dog Films and Jagged Edge Productions movies… sort of the Nick Fury of the Scott Jeffrey’s horror universe. Hell, he would’ve got further than Universal did with their Dark Universe if it is true!

I’m a fan of Scott Jeffrey’s work – even if I’m in the minority – and Conjuring the Genie another winner for me. Yes the film follows a familiar formula but it’s still, at least in my opinion, a lot of fun. It’s just a shame this is a little bloodless for a horror film!

Conjuring the Genie is available to watch now, for free on YouTube. The film is also set for a physical release on July 3rd 2021.


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