Wanna make a wish? If so, you’d best be careful what you wish for in the event of unearthing a lamp that’s older than dirt and worth more than a Ferrari. OK, so that last part is an exaggeration, but the point is that lamp lunacy is uncharted territory when it comes to horror, which, in the case of The Outing, is what makes it stand out. It is a supernatural slasher in which wish fulfillment proves to be deadly, what with the desire for wealth, elderly abuse, and sexual assault. These are just a few of the misdeeds that give rise to the jinn, causing victims to be put in their place and have the tables turned on them. There are also situations in which characters are minding their business only to be attacked such as that which involves several cobras making a beeline for a young lady who is relaxing in a bathtub. It is a moment of terror and reptilian mayhem; a moment in which the jinn’s bloodlust is fulfilled as venom is injected into flesh.
The second half of the film focuses on Alex and her friends as they spend the night at the museum. The buildup to this is simple but effective in that it involves Alex further inspecting the lamp only for the jinn to possess her; and a scene in which Alex converses with her father against a backdrop of flashes of thunder illuminating glass-encased objects. These convey that there is an evil presence afoot and that the museum is anything but a safe haven, in spite of the allure of getting hammered and having a good time. As such, the scenes wherein the jinn gets the upper hand on its unruly victims leap off the screen, accentuating the blood-soaked bedlam and sadistic violence severely.
Another aspect that comes to mind is the atmosphere. It is present during the murders, the scenes where the lamp is the focal point, and the interactions between Alex and her friends. In fact, the film would be incomplete without it, given the emphasis on supernatural activity. Everything from head twisting to a mummy being reanimated to death by impalement is in the limelight; every moment of madness is accentuated by the atmosphere, making for a wild and crazy outing that builds to a schlocky but spirited finale. It’s worth rubbing a lamp for, and the eerie ambient score is just what the jinn had in mind.
The Outing is a unique and lively piece of genre cinema as well as an example of good wishes gone bad. It’s a film that has a mean streak but also entertains throughout, so unless you’re being pursued by a jinn, give it a whirl. Chances are you’ll find it more enjoyable than translating a lamp’s inscription.