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A small European town, where sisters Ayia and Mirra live, gets struck down by an unknown disease which takes many lives. Following their mother's death, the younger sister falls ill. Having realized that conventional medicine is useless in the face of the sister's disease, Ayia seeks help from Father Herman, a parish priest and a close family friend. In his house she finds books that are very far from the conventional religion. She gets to know that only penetration into Mirra's sick subconscious mind and discovery of the true cause of her disease will give her a chance to save her sister. Ayia is ready to go through this terrifying ritual, dive into the depths of the subconscious mind, and face the demons residing there. Written by
Twilight village offers perfect atmosphere for this Horror. Story needs a few extra dramatic developments. Some genre clichés are distracting rather than bringing tension
Saw this at the IMAGINE film festival 2015 in Amsterdam. Took its time to build up steam, yet not boring. "The ritual" as it was announced in the synopsis, was to be executed more than once, but I did not know that beforehand. After the first time, assuming it was the last and only, it felt as an anti-climax. Nothing nasty was revealed, and life seemed to go on as if nothing happened. I stood corrected when materializing more scary the second time, for me the real climax. But there was still more to come. Which dirty secret was revealed out of the third and last ritual, escaped me. Maybe executing the ritual three times was essential in itself, three (like seven) being a magical number in many such circumstances. Anyway, the film title III (Roman numerals, so not three capital I's) emphasizes implicitly that the number three is important. No other explanation for this film title springs to mind after having seen it from beginning to end.
The sound track supported the proceedings but was often too much on the foreground, to the extent that it took away my attention from what was happening. That may be a fault of my own, as I faintly recognized most of the music, and was distracted while trying to pinpoint what it was exactly. A professional film composer (I forgot his name) said once that a good sound track should be unobtrusive and hardly noticed, but I'm not sure his word is law under his colleagues.
All in all, I did not get what I anticipated, so a bit disappointed, but no compelling reason to ask my money back. I think there were ample ingredients left unused. One could have arrived at a more complex story and better execution, in addition to a few extra dramatic developments that were definitely needed. The semi-dark village, its people and its buildings bring in their twilight "horror" atmosphere almost by definition. I experienced most of the tension and creepiness while wandering through Mirra's subconsciousness, but not to its full potential. These scenes were visualized the same as dreams are usually shown, by enlarging external influences (e.g. banging on doors) and by slow-motion effects (e.g. dragging protagonist's walks, to never reach the intended destination). It usually works out on the viewer as artificial, and thus defeats its purpose altogether by setting the viewer on a distance rather than sucking him into the story. In a good Horror film such elements are presented in a subtle way, to involve us in the proceedings rather than distracting us. This movie fails halfway in this respect.
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