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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 »
The other day, I decided to be with my people (in their collective hell), and watch this je ne sais quoi. What to say here. They can't write, for they're basically illiterate, and they can't act, for the mugs of the "Moscow theaters actors" (tm) are too well-fed. Everyone speaks in those pumped-up husky voices that are expected to mean passion from females, and courage with the other kind. For me, personally, though, they signify only people sitting on their potties trying very hard to give birth to something immortal, needles first.
The cinematographers seem to have learned shooting eye-pleasing pics, though they say it's not very hard to do, these days. They have also learned how to steal nice-looking stills for our desktops from others. Although, it seems that all visuals were created not by Russians but by Czechs, Germans and whom not, so maybe I should take this last statement back. You know, it's all like giving bright neon building blocks to an idiot childhe would definitely build something with them, and it would certainly catch the eye yet it would be utterly meaningless. For there is absolutely no logic in the plot, and the montage of those nice-looking pictures, there's no even the Hollywood logic in it. The sense is totally absent from this product, like lip-sync (for all actors were dubbed like in a bad TV production).
All PR effort (and the Wiki article) only confirm that the movie was targeted at brainless idiots who salivate from Photoshopped landscapes, and fast-changing camera angles. Also, xenophobia detected: the film creators seem to convey a very simple idea that all the worst in humans comes from within, and as the most humans in the film are, obviously, the Ukrainians, they look like the evil incarnate. On the other hand, Nicholas Gogol apparently thought so, too, although he didn't like all people, not only the Jews.
A slight anti-clerical pathos makes a welcome respite from all this stupidity but the creators apparently didn't dwell on this. Judging from what and how they speak in the promo documentary, they have no dwelling place in their brains. Their aim was "to catch up and overrun," like Khrushchev used to say, and "to produce the movie with the highest, globally accepted standards of intiteiment" (I kid you not, this is the word they use on a dumb card in the promo film; and I just love this provincially soviet demagoguery).
But the theme of rebooting classics is rich, no arguing about it. They now are free to re-shoot The Petty Demon, for example, creating the small dusty monster there with the multifaceted LED eyes, like what they did here. It will give much pleasure to the young and broad audience, no doubt.
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