Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Beyond the rumors: Karachi's massive turnout for Sijjin's unrelenting horror

This flick is getting attention from everyone — not just the die-hard horror fans

On January 19, 'Sijjin' an Indonesian horror flick, hit the screens in Karachi. On the first day, the theatres were jam-packed.

As we all know horror movies in Pakistan are not exactly the biggest crowd-pullers. But 'Sijjin' seems to be breaking the usual trend. It's been over a week, and people are still showing up, just wanting more scares.

Normally, folks in Pakistan save their cinema trips for Hollywood horror hits, like 'Conjuring' or 'Insidious.' But this flick is getting attention from everyone — not just the die-hard horror fans.

In an intriguing plot twist for Karachi's cinema scene, an Indonesian film saw an unexpected surge in moviegoers despite its Indonesian dialogue. The inclusion of English subtitles turned this cinematic experience into an unconventional magnet for audiences.

When Geo Digital’s team decided to join the Sijjin viewing party, we found ourselves delving into the social media rumour mill. Whispers circulated, suggesting that watching the film might not be a run-of-the-mill experience. According to the grapevine, there were murmurs of black magic spells woven into the storyline, promising an effect on the unsuspecting viewers.

So, with curiosity piqued, Geo Digital’s team entered the cinema, not just expecting a movie night, but wondering if the whispers of mystical effects held any truth.

This wasn't your run-of-the-mill late-night show at 10:45pm; families dotted the cinema, adding an unexpected twist to the scene — a phenomenon possibly fueled by the enchantment of the weekend. As the film unfolded, the theatre air became charged with anticipation.

Armed with curiosity, we delved into discussions with fellow moviegoers. As conversations unfolded in the cinematic aftermath, it became clear that the movie had become a magnetic force drawing audiences for its unique blend of Indonesian horror mastery and an enthralling storyline entrenched in the realm of black magic.

One movie buff spilled the beans — the allure of Sijjin wasn't just about a leisurely movie night. The rumours had swirled, creating a buzz that drew audiences like moths to a flame. However, as one moviegoer shared: “The social media grapevine wasn't exactly dealing in truths.”

The unexpected turnout

Unravelling the layers of mystery, it turns out the film isn't a stranger to the cinematic realm. It's the Indonesian rendition of a Turkish horror, a series with six parts that has woven its own narrative.

This Indonesian makeover, a remake of a specific 2014 installment, has landed on Pakistani shores.

In an exclusive chat with Geo Digital, Mirza Saad Baig, the general manager of the theatre house responsible for the movie’s distribution, spilled the beans on its box office journey and told us that, in just the first week, this film has managed to rake in over Rs20 million across the country.

"Earlier, we showcased animated Japanese and musical concert films. Next month, we plan to screen three Thai films across Pakistan, spanning horror, action, and rom-com genres. Discussions are ongoing with other countries to bring more films to Pakistan,” Baig remarked.

Sijjin's screening has breathed life into the quietude of Pakistani cinemas, proving that a compelling story and good production quality can transcend language barriers, beckoning viewers to the cinematic experience, Pakistani filmmakers can take notes from this.