Red Sands is available on Netflix and claims to introduce a new character into the Western horror genre: the djinn. Instead of the lovable genie popularized by Aladdin, this movie attempts to present djinns as scary and malevolent creatures that can mess with your heads. Directed by Alex Turner (of Dead Birds fame) and released in 2009, Red Sands is about a squad of American soldiers who encounter a wicked djinn in the deserts of Afghanistan.
While this sounds like a great scary movie, Red Sands ultimately fails to scare because of its slow-moving pace, uninteresting plot and characters, and crappy CGI graphics. For purposes of this post I’ll mainly discuss about the movie’s one and only major female character, a silent nameless Afghan Muslim woman (Mercedes Masohn), who is so negligible that she’s barely in the trailer:
A squad of soldiers sets up camp within an abandoned Afghan home in the desert. The squad comes upon a nearby idol, explained as a representation of a dangerous local djinn, and proceeds to deface it. Of course whoever’s watched the original Exorcist knows what that leads to: a pissed off demon (err…djinn) ready to take revenge upon the humans who busted up its statue.