Proklyatiye. Mertvaya zemlya
- 1h 25m
23-year-old student Alyona returns from Moscow to Yakutsk after a call from her mother's friend Svetlana, who says that her mother Anna has been missing for three days now. The girl goes to ... Read all23-year-old student Alyona returns from Moscow to Yakutsk after a call from her mother's friend Svetlana, who says that her mother Anna has been missing for three days now. The girl goes to the police, and she is shown a printout, which contains the last date when Anna called the... Read all23-year-old student Alyona returns from Moscow to Yakutsk after a call from her mother's friend Svetlana, who says that her mother Anna has been missing for three days now. The girl goes to the police, and she is shown a printout, which contains the last date when Anna called the intercity taxi. The policeman adds that, according to the taxi driver, he took the descri... Read all
Overall, the film has a lot to like about it. Among the more enjoyable aspects found here is a chilling setup that brings the viewer into the film rather well. As we follow her struggle to find her mother's disappearance and what happened to her, going through the motions of looking through the apartment or going to the authorities to inquire what happened it generates an eerie and ominous atmosphere early on. The experience of not finding her mother and being alone in the apartment where numerous memories of the past are there affects her personally with several dream scenes that are pretty impressive and chilling. After reaching the village where her mother is, this picks up considerably as the action shifts into a fun, steady stream of eclectic slow-burn folk-horror sequences. Featuring the local stories about evil spirits roaming the land, her nightmares becoming more vivid and intense as well as the incidents afflicting the locals she encounters, the fear of the wilderness present here is palpable and quite impressive. Likewise, the use of local rituals and beliefs coming into play for an effective downbeat finale manages to have some likable elements. There are some issues to be had with this one. The main problem is a decided lack of focus in the second half where it focuses on the drama of Alyona looking for her mom and not concentrating on much else to enhance the genre tone here. Far too much of this section comprises her going around the city trying to find out what happened or journeying to the remote village where the majority of the action takes place. Neither of these provides much in the way of expected scares or even action, instead of focusing on her search and the franticness to find her mother as a drama which leaves this sluggish and low-key as a result. The other slight issue is a rather disheartening lack of urgency with regard to why she is being forced to leave the village. Her mother alternates so frequently between being happy to see her and determined to get her daughter out of danger, oftentimes within the same scene, that the situation comes off rather confusing and jarring. Since the film takes so long to get to the danger in the area and what's going on, holding back on the reveal of the threat towards the village such as this makes the turn more obvious by demonstrating the various switches in her personality as we don't know why she's acting as such. It isn't nearly as detrimental as the other issue but does hold it back.
Rated Unrated/PG:13: Violence and Language.
- Nov 20, 2022