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
Although the film starts off a bit in the fairy tale fashion, the film doesn't lack anything a great sixties horror movie, be it from Italy, England or the U.S. should have. I think it's wonderful that a Russian gem like this got re-released in the US, so that I could see it in Germany. If this movie had been distributed better, I think it would turn up in every horror movie history besides the works of Bava (yes, MASCHERA DEL DEMONIO was based on the same story...although the Russian version sticks a lot more to Gogol) and the Hammer and Roger Corman Productions. If you're a fan of atmospheric sixties horror, you definitely should see this one, if only for the unforgettable climax.
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