Meet the Islamic horror icon!
This throwback at 80’s horror borrows from many classics and creates a hybrid curiously left underexploited in a decade of gimmicks: the genie, or “Djinn”. This gorefest has a unique villain with an amusing and ironic M.O. He is more a magician than a brute and will therefore appeal to supernatural slasher fans. He basically perverts your spoken desires in ways to kill you in creative ways.
The Djinn is scary because he murders his victims by conversing. When he takes the appearance of a human, as he does for most of the running time, he becomes inconspicuous and inquisitive. The writers have him use subterfuges and twists on words to get people to wish out loud, which obviously comes with comedy. While ridden with cliches, Wishmaster ventures in unfamiliar spheres of terror.
Dream sequences and flashbacks bring the movie down. The only thing this homage to a better era does wrong, when trying to go retro, is indulging in compositing and digital editing. New technologies should be a strength; not a hindrance. Many horror legends play more or less significant roles, but costume, production and set design never do them justice, making this somewhat a sad testament.