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 »
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 the dark side of eroticism. Gogol's story deals with Toma, a reluctant theology student who is forced to read the Psalms over an (un)dead girl for three nights in a row. All the while supernatural forces are trying to grab him from the Holy Circle drawn on the church floor. Kadijevic adapts and enriches 'Viy' by inventing a new backstory for the witch-girl and her father. The dead girl, Catherine (unwittingly killed in the prologue, while in the shape of a hag), is referred to as a 'saint' and her father is a harsh and unpleasant man. Kadijevic departs further from the original story, and introduces an excess of perversity and horror more reminiscent of the Anglo-American gothic than the milder Slavic attempts in a similar mode. Incest is the name of the game here. Written by
I was very surprised to see the quality and effectiveness of this 1990. horror movie from Serbia. This is a genuine showcase of how the horror movie should be made. It has a strong story and character development, solid and in some times lustrous acting, creepy atmosphere and music, through all the movie (thanks to brilliant music score of Serbian late keyboardist Laza Ristovski).
The greatest thing about this movie is that there is no innocent person in this story (probably, likewise in real life). Everyone has his own dark secret... evil inside, that needs to be revealed. The same case is with the main character, too... Who is a priest BTW.
The main horror scenes are incredibly creepy and give you shivers in a spine. There is no blood, no torturing (besides mind torturing), no dismemberment of bodies... but, believe me, for a true horror fan, it will make a lasting impression.
There are more very good Serbian horrors like this one to be seen. For curious worldwide horror fans I recommend - Leptirica, Variola Vera and Davitelj protiv davitelja. They are lucid and interesting... Well, at least on a Serbian way.
I do recommend another older Russian version of this movie, too. It's called Viy, like the Gogol's novel. It has its own qualities, on a different way from the Serbian version.
On the end, for Serbia, this is remarkable horror movie!
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