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Based on Russian poet Alexander Pushkin's fairy tale poem of the same name. In the midst of the wedding party of Prince Ruslan and Ludmila, Ludmila is kidnapped by an evil sorcerer. Her ... See full summary »
An 18th century English cartographer, Jonathan Green, sets out on a journey to map the uncharted lands of Transylvania, only to discover the dark secrets and dangerous creatures hidden in a cursed, fantastical Ukrainian forest.
Semyon Gorbunkov goes on a cruise. In Istanbul, he slips and breaks his arm. What he didn't know is that this was a signal for a gang of smugglers (a real smuggler - Gena - was also on ... See full summary »
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Sveto mesto (A Holy Place, 1990) is based on a literary classic, Nikolai Gogol's 1835 short story, 'Viy'. However, Kadijevic uses it only as a starting point for his own explorations into ... See full summary »
Getting lost, wandering home whilst on leave from his seminary, novice monk Khoma stays in the barn of an old woman. A scuffle breaks out. Later, he is summoned to stand and pray over a young dead woman, in the local church, for three nights. It is here that, while in the long, dark nights of the locked doors, the dead regain life, the souls of Hell taunt the young monk to near terrifying insanity, and the test of Faith will be as powerful as the witches, monsters and the mighty demon Viy who haunt his every step and bay for his very soul. Written by
The first time Khorma inscribes a sacred chalk circle on the church floor, it is possible to see a partially erased circle already present, possible left over from previous takes of the scene. See more »
By the shades of night, may he go blind, turn his hair white. Bewitch him. Cover him with snow.
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I'm not particularly a fan of horror flicks. I watched this movie simply because I wanted to see something Russian. But as I found out, this is much more than a typical horror flick. It has a lyrical quality to it almost like a Greek play. True, it has ghosts & goblins & creepy things in it. But so do Greek plays.
I consider this to be a fantasy or an allegory with some nice subtle insights about rustic life and the human condition in general. Some of the witty dialogue is absolutely priceless. I'm not familiar with the writings of Gogol who wrote the original story of "Viy", but if you're a fan of Tolstoy's short stories ("The Imp and the Crust") or Guy de Maupassant ("The Devil") or maybe the lighter side of Poe ("Never Bet the Devil Your Head"), then this'll be right up your alley.
And of course it'll scare the socks off your arse.
The camera illusions in this movie are absolutely 1st class. Don't be put off by the fact that it had a "low budget" by Hollywood standards. The minimalist approach really brought out the director's creativity in this case. Like an old 1940s Jean Cocteau film, the special effects are timeless in their simplicity, and they will hold up for the next 50 years, long after CGI has gone the way of the dodo (and not a moment too soon).
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