“Qorin” takes a toll on the mind in a rather traumatic way. It is not the horror that affects us but the sheer brutality of what transpires that makes us feel wretched. Not to offend anyone’s religious beliefs, but the film is a take on how spiritual leaders or mentors misuse their power for their personal gain. It happens all across the globe, and “Qorin” merely amplifies what’s been happening for ages.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Qorin’?
Zahra is the head of the batch at an Islamic boarding school for women in Cikapundung, Indonesia. They receive their knowledge under the guidance of Ustad Jaelani. Zahra shares her room with Icha, Gendhis, and newbie Yolanda, who has just arrived from Jakarta. Yolanda is indifferent to the rules of the dormitory because she was sent there against her wishes by her mother. Zahra befriends her, and everything seems to be going well until one day, Jaelani tells the class that they need to take a Qorin test [Qorin is another name for the jinn/demon who is assigned to every human, which resembles them and accompanies them]. A Qorin is essentially a doppelganger that lives outside the body of the person. When Yolanda questions the reason for the test, she is met with Jaelani’s statement that if a girl questions him, she doesn’t deserve to study at the dormitory. He furthermore states that the test is necessary to graduate. After the test, paranormal incidents start to occur inside the premises. Does the test have to do anything with these occurrences? Or does Jaelani have an ulterior motive? The answers lie behind the closed doors of Jaelani’s room.
Jaelani had been sexually assaulting the girls even before he arranged for the Qorin test. And when he finds out about the dark arts and the Qorin, he decides to use them to his sadistic advantage. He decided to have the girls summon their Qorins (doppelgangers) so that he could bend them to his will and do whatever he pleased with the girls. Jaelani later reveals that he pulled the Qorins from Hell so that they could be his followers and bow to his will. This is probably so that he would be able to sleep with the girls without any of them knowing about it. He is essentially sleeping with the Qorin Jinns of the girls rather than the girls themselves. He explains to Zahra how his practice of dark arts is for the benefit of the girls. He must have been planning this for a long time because it is surely not easy to be able to harness the power to summon a Qorin [or Qareen]. A Qorin is a spiritual doppelganger of a person which God has sent to accompany that person. The Qorin forces the person to carry out evil deeds. But why would God make his children disobey him? The answer is it is not God and not even Satan (Shaytan), who is considered the main source behind the Qorin, who pushes the person to do the misdeeds, but the person himself/herself. According to Islam, if a person carries out a misdeed, it is because he or she answered the call of the Qorin (basically the Devil) and reacted to the falsehood that Satan brings with him. There is another version of the origin of Qorin that states that a Qorin is a person’s doppelganger from a parallel dimension (Heaven or Hell).
Considering all this, there are two ways to interpret Jaelani’s actions:
He was merely a vessel for Satan to carry out his evil deeds. His immense hatred for his father-in-law, Kiai Mustofa, which was itself a result of his inferiority complex, planted in him the seed that eventually sprouted in the form of his Qorin test for the girls, his intention to merge with his doppelganger [we see him performing the ritual (bringing two worlds together in a single body) towards the film’s climax] and even the murder of his wife, Hana. Thus, his actions are a result of the falsehood that God sent his Qorin to force him to do [probably to test his faith in God (Allah)]. This corroborates the point that the Qorin is always present with us, and all one needs to do is bend it to one’s will;
Jaelani’s summoned the Qorins from Hell to get what he wanted, i.e., bend the girls to his will. But why he wanted to merge his body with his Qorin, we do not know. We can only assume that it was for power. And for some bizarre reason, it is always the Devil that people turn to for power and not God.
The result is that all the girls are assaulted by their Qorins on Jaelani’s orders. He gets a sadistic pleasure from it, which can also be another outcome of how he was treated by Kiai Mustofa. From Jaelani’s behavior, it is clear that he was not a nice student and did receive punishment. So he chose to punish the girls, who are his students, as revenge. He also killed Kiai Mustofa, surely out of anger. Icha, another close friend of Zahra, is also stabbed by him in his room after he’d sexually assaulted her. Why did he have to kill her? Well, he no longer needed her, it seems. That’s the harsh truth that stares us in the face, as well as those who stare back helplessly in rage and anger.
‘Qorin’ Ending Explained – How Is Jaelani’s Qorin Defeated?
Zahra and Yolanda are the two girls who fight to the end against Jaelani. From the very beginning of the film, we see Zahra being able to sense Qorins but keeping quiet about it out of fear of being misunderstood. It is Yolanda who persuades her to accept and admit what she has been going through. The two girls suffer the wrath of the Qorins but keep on fighting till the very end. And finally, Ummi Hana’s father, Kiai Mustofa, answers Ummi Yana’s prayers and arrives from Heaven to defeat Jaelani’s Qorin and send it back to hell. However, it is perhaps providence that Zahra is the one to kill Jaelani (his human self) by slashing his throat and pushing him off a bridge into the river beneath. Unfortunately, Yolanda and Ummi Yana were both stabbed fatally by Jaelani before his death. Only Zahra and Hana survive. The film ends with Yolanda breathing her last in Zahra’s arms and telling her that she is free now. But is she?
The mid-credits scene of “Qorin” shows Zahra and Gendhis, along with the other girls, burning the talismans that they made for Jaelani’s Qorin test. These talismans were what helped Jaelani summon their Qorins. But when Gendhis turns after throwing the last talisman into the fire, she looks at Yolanda’s Qorin as it stares at her. Behind Yolanda is Icha’s Qorin. Slowly, she realizes that every girl has a Qorin, including Zahra.
What does the mid-credits scene mean? Does it mean that the Qorins are here to stay even though the human is dead? It seems so because Yolanda and Icha are both dead. This means that Qorins can exist without their respective hosts. As for the other girls, including Zahra, we have to admit that once a Qorin has been summoned, it will remain with the person for their entire lives. So this means that although we do not see Gendhis’s Qorin, we can easily assume that it is also with her. Overall, it seems that the incidents in the film follow the second interpretation of Jaelani’s action, as mentioned above. The Qorins were summoned by him from Hell and will now accompany the girls till they die. Or will they? The film thus ends with the ultimate cliffhanger there is in life, i.e., uncertainty.