Let’s look at the most recent iteration of this Turkish franchise.
To be entirely honest, I have no idea of this film is called Dabbe 6: The Return, Dabbe: The Return, or Dab6e, so I just combined them all. Right now, it is available on Netflix and this seems to be the easiest place to find it (DVDs seems to only be in Region 2).
Fair warning, this is going to be a confused review as I think this is at once the worst of the Dabbes and also my favorite. So here goes.
At a nearly three-hour running time the sixth entry is able to take its time developing the story. How it does this is by throwing the entire kitchen sink of horror movie tropes at you. Everything you can think of is in here.
The film is also jump-scare heavy—to an almost absurd rate. Someone goes to get a drink and a demon jumps out of the sink, someone else uses the bathroom and there is a demon on a toilet! (Am I making up these examples? Maybe). I would estimate there are over 50 jump scares in this film. Some of them are effective, but a lot of them are not.
One thing I did not like about this film is the extensive use of dream-within-a-dream sequences (or dream-in-dream-in-dream, or dream sequences—fuck dream sequences). After the first one we have to wonder when we are seeing something that is relevant to the plot or if it is just setting up a scare. Unfortunately, a lot of the movement in this film is done simply to set up the scary moments.
I suppose I should mention the scary moments are loud, blurry, and have a lot of effects placed over them. Simply allowing us a cleaner look at what the hell is going on would be a major plus. The biggest bummer along here is this is the first one to use CGI extensively and it is bad CGI—terrible, really.
The acting is also all over the place as the characters react to seeing blood-puking demons with about the same urgency as seeing a moth in your living room.
So, with all of these problems why do I like this one?
The story hangs together better than it should with all of the twists and red herrings. I liked the main character Zeren and our exorcist this time Celal. There is a lot of interesting stuff in here—and there is a lot of fun to be had.
The same director has made all of these movies, and they each have interesting moments and cool scenes. There is a competent enough structure to each film that the flaws aren’t unforgivable.
After their mother dies in strange circumstances, Zeren must take in her sister Ayla who is experiencing bizarre phenomena. Ayla’s hallucinations are shared by Zeren and Zeren’s husband Hakan (who is a poorly written character. We don’t have good husbands in this series…). Now they must unravel the mystery and unearth a tragedy from long ago if they want to save Ayla.
The story works—I don’t know what else to say. The obligatory twist in this one is fun (but knowing there is a twist coming was a bit of a bummer). The films won’t give you an entirely new experience, but the horror tropes are fed through a different cultural lens. I had a lot of fun with these three, and if the others ever come to Netflix, I will give them a go. They are worth watching, but mind the noise.