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Film / Wishmaster

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Once, in a time before time, God breathed life into the universe.
And the light gave birth to Angels. And the earth gave birth to Man.
And the fire gave birth to the Djinn, creatures condemned to dwell in the void between the worlds.
One who wakes a Djinn will be given three wishes.
Upon the granting of the third, the unholy legions of the Djinn will be freed to rule the earth.
Fear one thing only in all there is... Fear the Djinn.
Opening Narration

Wishmaster is a series of horror films about an evil genie.

In ancient Arabian legend, the djinn were almost nothing like the genies we know and love—they were demons. Beings "created from smokeless fire", the djinn were incredibly powerful beings who could nonetheless sometimes be trapped in various items and enslaved.

The Wishmaster films, while not sticking perfectly to Arabian lore, were intended to re-Grimmify the genie myth. Did they succeed? Undoubtedly.

The series comprises:

In the first film, a drunken accident while a statue is being transported results in the discovery of a jewel containing an ancient Djinn, imprisoned since the days of Ancient Persia, who is unwittingly released by a young art appraiser. As the Djinn begins to harvest the souls of the unwitting people around him by granting their wishes — usually in the most malevolent, cruel and gruesome way possible — the appraiser must figure out a way to imprison him once again without using up the three wishes he is bound to grant her... and dooming all of humanity in the process.

Not to be confused with the album and song by Nightwish.

These films provide examples of the following tropes:

  • 555: Wendy's number in Wishmaster is 555-0165.
  • Achilles' Heel: The Djinn has one main weakness: he can only use his powers in the service of wishes, which annoys him quite a bit ("Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have unlimited power, and only be able to use it when some worm asks you for something?"). Without a wish, he's not a threat—he doesn't even use physical force to push past people. Getting everyone to stop wishing is next to impossible, however, considering how loose his interpretation of a wish can be.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the series, Djinn are an Always Chaotic Evil supernatural race. In fact, Djinn are supposed to be as morally varied as humans are- good, evil, neutral, whatever. While there are some sources that suggest they are a universally bad lot regardless, the films, needless to say, turn them up to eleven.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Djinn race. They're essentially demonic beings created at the dawn of time by God, and all their wishes boil down to a Deal with the Devil, so this trope is to be expected. With that being said, they aren't all pure evil, if the fourth film is anything to go by.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • The souls the Djinn captures are placed in Hellraiser-like dimension, presumably for eternal torture.
    • In the first film, a woman gets turned into a sentient but inanimate mannequin when she wishes to be beautiful forever, a security guard is turned into part of a glass door (though he's killed shortly after), and Alexandra's sister gets frozen inside a painting.
  • Answers to the Name of God
    Raymond Beaumont: M-my God!
    The Djinn: Not yet, human. Soon. Very soon I will be.
  • Antagonist Title: The eponymous wishmaster is the evil Djinn, although he's not referred to by that name until he uses it to describe himself in the second movie.
  • Badass Boast: The Djinn is prone to these in the climax.
    The Djinn: (impersonating Wendy) Match wits with a creature older than time? Match wits with a prince of the dark dominions? Pit your tiny twentieth century mind against one who walked the spaces between the worlds, and trod the wings of angels beneath his conquering feet? Alexandra, you're a delight! Really, you are.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The tagline of the first movie.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Trampled on. As soon as the Djinn threatens Alexandra's sister, she states point blank that she'll kill him if he harms her. Amused, he shows her his true face to show how little threat she poses to him, and she can only respond with a terrified "oh my god".
  • Black Comedy: There's a lot of it involving the Djinn. One particularly notable instant is when he's trying to persuade Nick into giving out Alex's address, and he eventually obliges when the Djinn grants his wish for a million dollars. How did he grant it? By blowing up a plane with Nick's mother inside, after she'd just signed off her inheritance to her son.
  • Blessed with Suck: The Djinn is an all-powerful and unkillable (barring angelic weaponry) Jackass Genie, capable of altering reality on a fundamental level. However, all of this power can only be used to grant the wishes of humans. While he has the experience to turn any wish to his advantage (or just for his own amusement), there are times when this can be used against him. This is especially bad in the first film, as here he not only grants the wishes of humans he thinks are beneath him, but he's compelled to grant them against his will.
    Djinn: Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have unbelievable power, and only being able to use it when some worm asks you for something?
  • Body Horror: Numerous, numerous examples. Demerest seems to not only specialize, but revel in this type of wishes: while he is perfectly capable of granting a wish in any other way when needed, his favorite method is to warp and mutilate the wishmaker. He seems to go relatively easy on bystanders and those who are at least polite to him (if not providing him services), but at those who cross Demerest's path, the Djinn truly gets creative.
  • Bowdlerise: Discussed In-Universe in the first movie. After Alexandra traces the jewel's origin to an ancient Persian statue of a royal advisor, that crushed Beaumont's assistant near the beginning of the movie, which legend stated he imprisoned a genie in said jewel, Beaumont refers Alexandra to Wendy Derlecht, an expert in folklore. Alexandra asks Wendy about genies, and Wendy states that the correct term is djinn, who were demonic in nature, and adds that while the genies in fairy tales, such as those portrait by Barbara Eden and Robin Williams granted wishes to help their masters, djinns' would purposefully grant twisted wishes in order to unleash their full power, and subjugate humanity.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In Wishmaster, a cop wishes that a criminal who has gotten away on seven counts for a crime (not stated what kind) would just commit something that the cops could easily nail him for. The Djinn then controls his body from a distance, and causes the guy to turn into an almost-supernatural killer who immediately grabs a cop's gun and starts a shooting frenzy in the police station. He kills a half-dozen cops before he dies from his own wounds.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Djinn is patently aware that he is pure evil. He states he can't be undone because his presence perpetuates evil in the world and his Badass Boast to Alexandra when she wishes to know what he is is equal parts horrific and illuminating. See I Am the Noun below.
  • Cassandra Truth: Subverted in the first film. When the Djinn (in human form) chases Alex into a banquet, she simply tells the doorman that the man is harassing her, and he jumps in to keep the Djinn from entering.
  • Catchphrase: The Djinn's habit of saying "Done!" after granting a wish. Coupled with his insolent smile.
  • Chest Burster: In the opening of Wishmaster, a monster (one that actually does look a lot like a chestburster) is shown busting out a guy's stomach. Made all the more horrifying since it's actually his own intestines morphed into a freakish monster and tearing out of him to attack a bystander
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The scene with the homeless guy and pharmacist in Wishmaster.
    Homeless Man: You left customers in there. That's not a very good way to run a business.
    Pharmacist: Don't you tell me how to run my business, you're a fucking bum!
    Homeless Man: Well, you don't tell me how to run my life! You're a fucking prick! I'll talk to whoever I want to! You don't own this fucking sidewalk!
    Pharmacist: You wanna know something? I do own this fuckin' sidewalk. You wanna know why? Cause I pay fuckin' taxes!
    Homeless Man: Fuck you!
    Pharmacist: No, fuck you!
    Homeless Man: I hope you die, you sack of shit. I hope you die, and I hope you float down the gutter, so I can fuckin' piss on you!
  • Complete Immortality: The Djinn, who outright claims to be eternal, so someone can't just wish for him to destroy himself. The summoner also seems incapable of dying until the Djinn gets his wishes, since Morgana is completely unhurt after getting shot twice in Evil Never Dies. The djinn gave it to her for free, in order to insure her survival for him. Averted in the last two films. Angels have swords that can kill Djinn or at least banish them back to the prison between worlds. One of the wishes in the final film is for a means that can kill Djinn.
  • Cool Big Sis: Alexandra to Shannon, in the original film.
  • Court Mage: In the first film, the court wizard in service to a ruler who once fell prey to the Djinn's machinations sealed the Djinn in a gemstone to prevent him from granting a third wish (which would unleash Hell on Earth).
  • Covers Always Lie: The villain on the DVD cover resembles a vampire; he's actually a genie.
  • Creator Cameo: Robert Kurtzman, the film's director, appears as the guy who gets his head torn off by animated piano wires.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Quite a few of the deaths the Djinn causes fit this trope.
  • Crystal Prison: For the evil Djinn, a gem was used in place of the more traditional bottle.
  • Death by Looking Up: Ed's death (crushed under a dropped crate) in Wishmaster.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Djinn granting your wish equals this, since he claims your soul as a reward. He's even crueler than most soul-bargaining entities however, since (at least in the first film) he doesn't even have to tell his victims that they're agreeing to this exchange, so they never know that they doom themselves for all time until after he claims them.
  • Death by Materialism: When the Djinn visits Alexandra's boss to get her address, the latter gets a bit too greedy when he sees the possibilities. He wishes for a million dollars, so the Djinn blows up a passenger plane with the guy's mother on board so he can get the life insurance, then later drags him to hell.
  • Dem Bones: The opening of the original film had a guy's skeleton tear free of his body and start attacking people.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: The way the heroine from the first movie gets the best of the evil Jackass Genie. He can't grant a wish that directly affects him, so she can't just wish that he stuffs himself back in his lamp. She's down to her third and final wish, and after she makes that wish he'll be free to run amok and destroy the world, and he's forcing her to take action by murdering and torturing people around the heroine. So, with some clever thinking, she comes up with a wish that will work: she wishes that a specific crane operator hadn't been drunk on the job a few days ago. That crane operator had dropped and destroyed the statue that the genie had been trapped inside of, so the wish undoes everything the genie had done and winds up with him imprisoned again.
  • Drinking on Duty: In the first movie, the Djinn's crystal is freed when the crane operator, drunk on the job, causes the statue to slip and fall. The heroine's third wish, which ordinarily would have unleashed Hell on Earth, was for the crane operator to not have been drinking that day.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: The Djinn's goal is to open the portal to the Djinn dimension so his brethren can enter Earth at will, becoming a virtual god in the process over his new kingdom. Considering that they derive pleasure solely from mutilating and torturing people to death while making their worst nightmares reality, they would turn the Earth into a complete hellworld if they won.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In this film, the Djinn is compelled to grant the wishes of any human who makes a wish in his presence if they are within his power. While most of the time this is to his advantage, there are moments when he is forced to grant wishes against his interests, such as being told to walk away by a security guard, or when Alex wishes to undo the Djinn being freed in the first place. In later films, this is never really a problem, with the Djinn ignoring wishes he deems inconsequential or inconvenient.
    • In the beginning of the first two films, there's apparently a Psychic Link between the Djinn and the main wisher which gets activated whenever the Djinn gruesomely claims another victim, allowing the wisher to experience a taste of that person's fear and pain while being taunted by images of the Djinn. This link gets forgotten or is inconsistently shown once the Djinn reveals himself around the film's halfway mark, and the wisher doesn't appear to experience anything or is otherwise affected when the Djinn claims more victims after this reveal i.e, Alex doesn't experience any sensation of drowning even though the doorman's wish resulted in him drowning, while in case of Morgana, she feels the agony of being crucified when her friend experiences after having made a wish.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Apart from the Djinn being repeatedly stated as living in the void between worlds, the movie's Exposition Fairy has this charming description to offer:
    Wendy: In the old writings the Djinn is everything we've ever feared. An utterly inhuman race of beings that mean us harm. Older than our oldest history, more powerful than our worst imaginings, and driven by an ancient and endless malevolence.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The first and second films both have this kind of ending. It's made very clear that the Djinn is not permanently defeated when he gets resealed in the fire opal, but after the upbeat ending for the heroes the last shot slowly zooms in as the Djinn is biding his time in his prison, waiting to be awakened again.
  • Everybody Lives: With the exception of the people in the prologue, everyone who dies from Ed Finney on or is subjected to a fate worse than death is brought back to life/normal due to the wish that Torelli hadn't been drunk on the job.
  • Evil Is Hammy: You can tell that Andrew Divoff is having the time of his life in his role as the Djinn.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Djinn in his true form has a suitably deep voice for a demon.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Barring the prologue in Ancient Persia, the first film takes place over two days. This is confirmed by Alex's final wish when she wishes that Mickey Torelli hadn't been drinking on the job two days ago.
  • Face Stealer: The Djinn from the first, third, and fourth movies. In the second he used the same human form he had in the first, a corpse from the morgue. In the third and fourth it gets worse as he skins living people, a hapless college professor and a lawyer played by Michael Trucco, respectively.
  • Facial Horror: The Djinn is particularly fond of mutilating people's faces. In the first film for instance, he uses his powers to make a criminal unwillingly rip out a cop's lower jaw, tongue still intact.
  • False Reassurance: The films, being the classic "Monkey's Paw" style stories, do this continuously.
  • Fan Disservice: The salesgirl that is turned into a mannequin is seen later on in a storeroom nude.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Most of the movies the Djinn puts up a pleasant veneer towards his victims while preparing their agonizing deaths. He tends to drop the façade when he switches back into his true demonic form because then there's just no point in even pretending, especially towards the end, when he loses his patience with victory so close in his grasp.
  • Final Girl: The series is prone to playing with this. While played completely straight in the original, the sequel's Final Girl was a goth burglar who actually kills a guy in the opening, during a heist gone wrong, though she later redeems herself, in order to beat the Djinn. The protagonist of Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled is also shown having sex at least twice, including with the Djinn.
  • Flaying Alive: In the Djinn's palace in Hell, he is having one of the souls he collected tortured by slicing off the skin on the man's torso and stretching it out with hooks to expose all his innards. He later has some fun with the glass shards in the party to shred a partygoer's skin.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Although the interactions between the Djinn and Alex are not many, he often makes certain comments to her that are just full of subtext. He calls her a delight and caresses her hand (disguised as Wendy), calls her 'sweet Alex' and after she has made two wishes, tells her they are 'so connected now'.
    • When he breaks the window of her car, for an instant, you can see him leaning towards her with a teasing expression and almost touching her with his claw.
  • For the Evulz: The Djinn could very easily just grant wishes as straightforward as he can and then collect the souls he needs, but it's clear that he just gets a kick out of twisting wishes in the most grisly ways he can think of, and even inspiring such thoughts in the wishers.
  • Genie in a Bottle: The gem that holds the Djinn. Doubles as Sealed Evil in a Can.
  • Gorn: So, so much of it ...
  • Go Through Me: The horror form occurs in Wishmaster, where a security guard says this to the Jackass Genie villain - who turns him into glass and smashes through him to get in.
  • Great Gazoo: The Djinn is a far more malevolent version.
  • Groin Attack: A security guards gets stabbed in the crotch with a sword by a Living Statue in Wishmaster. Once the blade is in, the thing even goes as far as twisting it.
  • Healing Factor: The Djinn have a ramped-up healing factor as part of their Complete Immortality. They can actually be hurt (as the Djinn in the first film demonstrates by blowing its own brains out, which he concedes hurt a lot), but the damage just repairs itself instantly.
  • Hellhound: The evil Djinn keeps a draconic-looking hellhound in his throne room. He orders it to pursue the heroine through his crystal prison before offering his "help".
  • Hell on Earth: The goal of the Djinn is to make the world his hellish kingdom, for which he needs to grant three wishes to the one who awakened him to open the portal to the Djinn dimension and unleash their hordes upon mankind.
  • Here There Were Dragons: The Djinn discusses how the magic and spells of the past are now forgotten, and there is nothing left to stop him with.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: The court wizard who single-handedly beats Demerest and imprisons him in the magical gem is listed in the credits as Zoroaster himself (the prophet of the religion named after him). However, not only he is presented as a powerful sorcerer here, but also alive in year 1127 (accounts differ on when the real Zoroaster lived, but it was definitely before the birth of Christ).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: At the end of the first film, the Djinn defeats himself by granting a time-altering wish that, as he realizes too late, means he was never released from his prison to grant the wishes in the first place.
  • I Am the Noun: Alexandra wishes to know what the Djinn's nature is. He takes her to his hell-like home dimension, and tells her in a very evil Badass Boast.
    Djinn: You wish to know what I am? To you, I am this: The cry of the abandoned child. The whimper of the whipped beast. I am the face that stares back at you from the shadowed mirror. The hollowness at the heart of all your hopes, Alexandra. I AM DESPAIR.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: You can wish for the djinn to kill himself, and he's bound by genie rules to at least try, but as an immortal he cannot actually die.
  • Immortality Hurts: In the first film, the heroine wishes for the evil djinn to blow his own brains out. He promptly pulls out a revolver and does so. The Djinn quickly heals from this.
    Djinn: That which is eternal cannot die. But if it's any consolation, sweet Alex, that hurt like hell!
  • Immune to Bullets: The Djinn heals instantly from blowing his own brains out in Wishmaster, getting shot in the chest in Evil Never Dies just causes him to bleed worms, and multiple gunshots have no effect on him whatsoever in The Prophecy Fulfilled.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The first film is also marketed as Wes Craven's Wishmaster, even though he only "presented" it as the executive producer.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Alex becomes suspicious that the Djinn is impersonating Professor Derleth when the professor mentions Alex's boss, only for Alex to point out that she had never told the professor where she worked.
  • Instrument of Murder: The massacre at the end of the first film has a pianist attacked by his own piano, which rips his head off with its wires.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: The Djinn resorts to threatening and torturing Alexandra's friends and loved ones (including her sister) to force her to aid his plan by making wishes. He even notes this tactic's persuasiveness.
  • Jackass Genie: A really extreme example. In these films, the Djinns are demonic beings who interpret any wish in the most negative manner imaginable, usually involving some horrible death. They vary this a bit with the person who freed them, who get three mandatory wishes but could theoretically default on any of them to thwart his plans. He has a tactic where he makes the first wish positive (so that they will wish for more), the second wish negative so that the victim will make the third and final wish to clean up the mess caused by the second wish. If he made all the wishes positive, it's possible that the person will be content with one or two, and never make the third wish.
  • Jawbreaker: The Djinn uses his powers to make a petty criminal go on a batshit crazy killing spree in a police station, which includes ripping out one cop's lower jaw with his bare hands.
  • Karmic Transformation: Since the titular genie takes the jackass title and cranks it until the dial falls off, this is his favorite form of Forced Transformation, because it makes it suck that much more.
  • Large Ham: The Djinn is ridiculously hammy, especially in the last two films. Typically more so in his human form.
    The Djinn: Her reaction wasn't very flattering. In fact (in mock terror) she got downright hysterical!
  • Lecherous Licking: The Djinn does some lecherous lip licking when he asks Alexandra where her "tasty" sister is, putting rapist or cannibalistic subtext in the audience's mind.
  • Literal Genie: The Djinn enjoys using people's own poorly worded wishes against them.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: In the first film, the Djinn fuses a security guard to a glass door, then shatters it. He then turns a woman in the party into a glass statue, only to shatter it moments later and wound a few more people with the shards.
  • Living Bodysuit: The Djinn does this with a dead body he finds in a med school lab.
  • Living Statue: Statues of snakes, ancient gods and warriors are animated by the Djinn at the end of Wishmaster.
  • Logical Weakness: The Djinn has a single law that bounds his (otherwise unlimited) power: he can only use his magic to fulfill wishes, and he must deliver a wish as requested even if he does not want to or somehow unable to. This becomes a plot point in the first and fourth movie; as well as a piece of comedy when a guard tells he wants Demerest to leave, making the Djinn visibly struggle as he is forced to turn around and walk away against his will. The guard, however, decides to mock the Djinn, and his words turn out precisely what Demerest needs to count bragging as a wish.
    Demerest (angered, but forced to walk away): Noooo! I must get through that door!
    Guard: Well, in that case you will have to walk through me, and that is something I'd love to see! (cue the grinning Djinn turning the guard into a stained glass and shattering it as he walks through it)
  • Man on Fire: A random partier is engulfed in flames, shot from a fireplace, at the party at the end of Wishmaster.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Once he's assumed human form, the first thing the Djinn does is buy himself the sharpest suit he can find.
  • Metaphorically True: The Djinn claims that he can't kill anybody unless he is granting a wish that allows him to. While he certainly isn't able to directly kill anyone he wants, he is responsible for much of the carnage brought on by whatever his wishers ask of him, seeing how he can alter reality just enough to suit their desires. As Demerest himself puts it, he doesn't need Alexandra dead, but he is fine with her wishing she was.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Wishmaster:
    Ariella: "Now will this be cash or charge, Mr.—?"
    The Djinn: "Demarest. Nathaniel Demarest. Call me Nathaniel."
  • Nasty Party: In the first movie, Alexandra goes to the party hosted by Raymond Beaumont to keep her sister safe from the Djinn. However, the Djinn follows Alexandra and the party goes to hell when the Djinn crashes it.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Trying to wish for the Djinn to go kill himself is beyond pointless. The Djinn instantly regenerates after he is ordered to blow his own head off by the heroine. "That which is eternal cannot die". The Djinn does admit it hurt immensely, so he's not absolutely invulnerable.
  • No More for Me: After wishing that the pharmacist who threw him out of the drug store contracted cancer and died, the bum watches in horror as tumors erupt all over the pharmacist's body and he collapses in pain. The bum then throws the cigarette he is smoking down in disgust.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: The conclusion of the first film depends on this: the protagonist is forced to make a third wish in order to stop the one djinn's rampage against her and her friends, but if she does he (and all the other djinn) will be freed to terrorize Earth. So she makes a wish that prevents the accident which caused the djinn's gem to be found in the first place in a Reset Button Ending.
  • Numbered Sequels: While it does use subtitles, this film series prevents Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo by keeping the numbering consistent.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct: Despite being a particularly vile Jackass Genie, the titular djinn actually has certain limitations to his magic. Namely, he can only expressly use his power in the granting of a wish. That said, he is very much a Manipulative Bastard, and invokes Literal Genie as well to basically make life hell for everyone but especially the protagonist, since the caveat left out of modern genie stories is that the third wish granted releases the hideously evil race of djinn that have been locked out of our world since ancient times.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Djinn adopts his true djinn form whenever things get serious. He also appears like this when he gets defeated in the climax of every one of the movies, demonstrating that it's a true monster being overcome by the protagonists.
    Djinn: Spare me, child. Behold my true face.
    Alexandra: Oh my god.
    Djinn: Yesss. The shit just "hit the fan", didn't it?
  • The Omnipotent: The evil Djinn is about as close to this as would be possible while keeping the story entertaining, as he claims that his wishes are bound only by the imagination of the person making the wish. The very few things he can't do is to mess with the very basis of reality, such as killing or unmaking himself (God made his kind immortal when He created the universe), and undoing evil itself (as evil is necessary for there to be good). Every other wish pertaining to him personally is also bound by the ancient prophecy of the three wishes unleashing the Djinn hordes upon the Earth, so he can only grant wishes involving himself that don't undo his ability to grant them.
  • One Free Hit: The Djinn offers Alexandra a "free wish" as a sample for what's in store, but it just defaults to this trope because she wishes for the Djinn to attack himself. He shoots himself through the head without objecting, an injury from which he immediately recovers, establishing that he cannot be disposed of so easily.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They're locked in an eternal war with the demonic Djinn, with the Djinn noting that he's trampled their wings beneath his feet in his conquests. They can manifest themselves by possessing a human, have healing hands, and swords that can kill the otherwise immortal Djinn. Their morality varies, as some like Michael are undeniably good, while others are very much in Knight Templar territory in their quest to defeat the Djinn.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The Djinn in this series are largely merged with much of the folklore about demons. They are one of three entities made by God (the others are Angels and Humans). While demons are not stated to exist as separate beings, the wish-granting is identical to a Deal with the Devil since the Djinn's prize is the wisher's soul, and their home dimension is almost identical to Fire and Brimstone Hell, where the souls he collects are gathered to suffer eternal torture.
  • Our Genies Are Different: The Djinn in this series are some kind of byproduct of God's creation of the universe and are all inherently evil and as such were banished to some Hell dimension. The main one is trapped in a red jewel on Earth and if he successfully grants his summoner's three wishes he can free his brethren and get rid of whatever it is that's restricting his powers so that they only activate for wishes. He also collects souls and has a very loose definition of what exactly constitutes as a wish.
  • Precursor Heroes: A thousand years prior to the main events of the film, a Persian sorcerer forged a magic fire opal and sealed the Djinn inside it in order to save his people from the evil of the Djinn.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: At the Djinn's bidding, a Living Statue of Poseidon attempts to skewer Alex with his trident in Beaumont's house.
  • Reality Warper: Djinn can alter reality to fulfill a wish. He states that the only limit to this is the wisher's imagination.
  • Reset Button: How the Djinn is defeated in the first film when the third wish is used to prevent him from being released in the first place.
  • Saying Too Much: When the Djinn in the first film disguises himself as a friend of Alexandra, and comments that Alex's boss would really like her apartment. Alex notes that she never mentioned who she worked for. The Djinn manages to talk his way out of it.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In the intro of the first movie, a wizard traps the Djinn in a gem. The gem is later placed in a statue which is broken in modern times thanks to a drunken dock worker. The heroine retcons reality by wishing that the worker hadn't been drinking on the job that day, sending the Djinn back into its prison.
  • Sealed Evil in Another World: The Djinn are trapped in the Void Between the Worlds and the only way to release them is to complete a deal with a member of their race, i.e., asking for three wishes.
  • Self-Mutilation Demonstration: In the first movie the Djinn blows his brains out at the heroine's command, from which he automatically recovers, thereby demonstrating two things: he must do whatever she says, and he is not to be gotten rid of that easily. He does concede that it hurt like hell.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: The Djinn looks quite refined while wearing a suit in his human guise, to the point that the clerk selling the suit is clearly floored by him. He rewards her interest by turning her into a mannequin.
  • Shout-Out: After Alexandra finds out about the gem's true origin, she goes to talk to Wendy Derleth, an expert in Ancient History. When Alexandra enquirers about the legend of the genie, Wendy tells her that the djinn of ancient times were not the funny, whimsical creatures as portrayed by Barbara Eden or Robin Williams, but demonic creatures hell-bent on taking over earth.
  • Snake People: The sultan's Court Mage encounters a man who is transforming into a snake begging him for help.
  • Soft Glass: Averted. Djinn uses his powers to turn a woman into glass, who then explodes into a shower of glass that is hurting people.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The ancient Djinn is, for all his complexity, rather well-versed in modern-day slang and profanity, possibly by absorbing the knowledge from the souls he's claimed. Demonstrated in the climax of the first film when he shows Alexandra his "new addition" to Beaumont's gallery.
    Djinn: Rather a good likeness, don't you think? I especially relish ... the 'trapped-animal' look in the eyes.
    Alex: You vicious son of a BITCH!
    Djinn: You don't approve? Alright then. FUCK IT! You know what I say? If you can't beat them, burn them ... baby.
  • Spotting the Thread: Alex eventually catches on that the Djinn disguised himself as one of her friends. The Djinn manages to explain a Saying Too Much slip-up, but his antagonistic behavior and constant offers to do something for her (thereby invoking a wish) give him away.
  • Sssssnake Talk: The Djinn tends to gradually drop his human act. The first stage consists of him starting to talk in a deep hissing voice with elongated stress on some syllables. A Persian man turned half snake in the prologue also talks this way when begging the sorcerer for help.
  • Story Reset: The first movie is finished up by having it 'never happen' with a single time-altering wish.
  • Stupid Evil: In a big way. The Jerkass Genie actually has motivation for his job: once the person who releases him makes three wishes, genies will be freed from the hell dimension they're trapped in and rampage across the Earth. He time and again proves not just to be Obviously Evil, but also a unique combination of Stupid Evil and Chaotic Stupid. He could simply trust that the person who released him would have three things that they wanted to wish for (and odds of that are pretty high), but instead, he insists on causing mayhem and destruction whenever someone makes a wish (particularly random people who aren't the person who can free the genies with three wishes), and playing sadistic mind games with the person who set them free, ensuring that whoever actually did free him will never want to make their three wishes in the first place.
  • Taken for Granite:
    • In the opening the Djinn turns a member of the Persian royal court into part of the brick wall as one of the "wonders" he promised to show the Emperor.
    • There's also a variation. The Djinn tricks the female clerk at a clothing store into wishing she "could be beautiful forever". He turns her into a mannequin.
  • Takes Ten to Hold: The Djinn possesses a petty crook who always got away with his crimes to shoot up a police station, as the officer the Djinn was talking to wished for "something easy, with every god damn person as an eyewitness". Not even five policemen are enough to restrain the guy, as he breaks free and even rips one poor officer's lower jaw out. It takes a Multiple Gunshot Death to finally kill him.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: The body the Djinn chooses to take is a handsome, dark-haired white man, which does not go unnoticed by the retailer when he goes to buy a suit to complete the look.
  • Temporal Paradox: In the first film, the protagonist's solution for getting rid of the djinn creates a grandfather paradox.
  • Terms of Endangerment: The Djinn constantly uses terrifyingly inappropriate terms of endearment towards Alex while murdering everyone around her, such as "Spare me, child!", and "If it's any consolation sweet Alex, that hurt like hell!".
  • Theme Naming: Characters Finney, Beaumont, Derleth and Demerest in the first film are named after fifties sci-fi and horror writers.
  • Three Wishes: Three wishes are granted for the one who awoke the Djinn (everyone else gets only one, and give up their soul in return). Granting them all will unleash the hordes of the Djinn upon the world. The Djinn may also give a "free" wish. He did so as a demonstration to show that one cannot simply wish the Djinn were dead or killed. He offered the protagonist in the second film a free wish, so that she "might know its joy", but she refused. In the first film the protagonist makes her third wish such that it resets time so that the Djinn was never freed from his magical prison. As the Djinn learns from his mistake, later movies force the heroes to look for other ways to beat him at his own game.
  • Time Abyss: The Djinn notes that he is older than time itself.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: When the Djinn is flirting with a cashier in the first film, he makes a wad of cash appear there. Justified in that it was payment for his suit.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: The series is centered around an evil genie, although the one in the third and fourth movie seems to be a different Djinn from the one in the first and second.
  • Villain Decay: The Djinn was scary and so much of a threat in the first film because he was utterly evil beyond redemption, completely immortal, his powers knew almost no bounds, and he would bring about hell on Earth if he got his three wishes. What stopped him from being an Invincible Villain was that the entire plan hinges on granting wishes, so the protagonist could technically stop it by not wishing at all and had to be constantly wary of saying anything that could possibly be interpreted by the evil Djinn as one. In the second film, he suddenly has to collect 1000 souls first, and much of the plot placed him in prison, where he was significantly less menacing as a villain. The third and fourth films continue the process by making the Djinn killable (albeit with a very specific weapon), and having to pursue romance with a woman.
  • Villains Blend in Better: The Djinn was last active in medieval Persia. After being imprisoned for several centuries and waking up in the modern day, he has absolutely no problem adjusting to his new surroundings, and comes off as preferring them because barely anyone believes in magic anymore and thus can't use it against him (and also cell phones are kind of neat).
  • Villains Out Shopping: The Djinn goes shopping for a suit in the first film. It's not used to humanize him however, as he simply uses the opportunity to Kick the Dog one more time by condemning some poor clerk to another horrific fate. He did pay for the suit, though.
  • Void Between the Worlds: The Djinn's home dimension is described as this (although it looks more like Hell in actuality), and he boasts about actually being one of the few beings to have walked the abyss between the planes. The Djinn's goal is to merge it with the human realm, and allow his race to rule the Earth.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: The Djinn can take on the form of others, but he has to use their face for it. The Djinn in the fourth film does it without restriction at one point.
  • Wishplosion: Done once a film, with a different human "mark" each time. In the first film, the mark wishes the accident that freed the djinn had never happened. She also wished for him to blow his brains out; he immediately complies, and she discovers he is in fact Immune to Bullets. "If it's any consolation," he adds, "That hurt like hell."
  • The Worf Effect: Played with on a meta level. The evil Djinn's victims include people played by horror film icons such as Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street), Tony Todd (the eponymous Candyman), and Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th). It's a little hard to believe that this casting was not deliberate.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: Like modern depictions of demons, the Djinn collects souls so he can drag them to what is effectively Hell to torture them forever. He also needs them to power the jewel that he was trapped in, which acts as a doorway to the Djinn world.


The Djinn

Being an ancient evil spirit, the Djinn cannot die.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / CompleteImmortality

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