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Early 18th century. Cartographer Jonathan Green undertakes a scientific voyage from Europe to the East. Having passed through Transylvania and crossed the Carpathian Mountains, he finds himself in a small village lost in impassible woods. Nothing but chance and heavy fog could bring him to this cursed place. People who live here do not resemble any other people which the traveler saw before that. The villagers, having dug a deep moat to fend themselves from the rest of the world, share a naive belief that they could save themselves from evil, failing to understand that evil has made its nest in their souls and is waiting for an opportunity to gush out upon the world. Written by
An adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's popular 1835 short story about the demon Viy -- whose gaze was deadly if met eye-to-eye -- it was originally scheduled to be released in 2009 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Gogol's birth. See more »
Viy comes from east slavic legends. Based on these legends Nikolai Gogol depicted Viy in his story back in 1835. There were several film adaptations, but the most notable is considered the one filmed in 1967 in USSR.
I can't say that Viy 3D is an adaptation. It is a story which uses Viy legend just as background. And this is the first problem with the film. When you talk about Viy, you talk about fear. The legends are about that, Gogol's story is about that, 1967 film is about that. So how can a film, which places Viy in its title, and even mentions Gogol story, just throw away this spirit of something unknown and frightening, and instead suggest some stupid explanation for the story and challenge the existence of Viy.
Another problem of the film is its ugly propaganda constructed from old clichés. Orthodox church is for enslaving people (wow, have you seen this 'new' idea before?), ukrainian сossacks are drunk and live in dirt, the English scholar is smart and can handle everything. In general you can see the contrast - bare and dirty Ukraine vs rich and beautiful England.
OK, so maybe for someone who doesn't care about Viy concept and propaganda, is this film good?
The story in film is very similar to Sleepy Hollow, but is worse. Plot doesn't offer something new, but fails to provide some solid story. It is a mess without any reasons. I can recall the most effects-loaded scene of cossacks transforming into devils and trying to frighten cartographer. Are there any reasons for this part of plot? No. Are there any consequences of this scene? No. The cartographer wakes up next morning and just continues his work. So you can just remove this scene from the film and you don't lose anything as far as plot is concerned. Same for many scenes.
Effects are OK. You can enjoy some scenes.
The film is not scary, there are some exciting moments, but the film never crosses the line of a real horror.
Acting is decent, everyone did a good job.
Conclusions: 1) If you like the story of Viy and want to see some adaptation - the film is not for you. 2) If you want some horror film - this film is not for you. 3) If you don't care much about a new story and would like to enjoy the effects and acting - you can have a good time.
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