Found this thoughtful article from 2012 about horror movies in the Arab world.
“Supernatural tropes are common in our horrors.This makes sense when dealing with what subconsciously scares our societies. It is within the foundation of Islam – and even among Arab Christians in a cultural sense. It’s not something you can grow out of. People grow old and still believe in exorcisms,” Tarek Jammal, a Lebanese filmmaker and hardcore movie enthusiast, explained to Al-Akhbar.
He pointed to the example of zombies, popular figures in American horror, to clarify his point. “Why are there no zombies in Gaza?” he asked.
“Zombies are not as terrifying as an Israeli bombing, and other real life horrors and tragedies. Zombies are commonly representative of various fears arising within affluent societies. People who are under constant attack by Israelis or whomever else aren’t going to be frightened by zombies.”
Jassim al-Nofaly, Egyptian-Omani filmmaker and zealous horror buff, shared a similar viewpoint during a separate conversation with Al-Akhbar:
“Jinn and black magic are foundational to our cultural beliefs. We are afraid of what we do not understand and what we do not see. Some people educate their children from the point of view of an omnipresent invisible being that is constantly watching you; quite horrifying when you think about it,” he said.
I found it a fun read. I’ll be back to read Al-Akhbar again.