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...
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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. But will she cope with her own fear when she discovers the mysteries of her sister's past? Since the closer to the bottom of the ocean, the darker it gets.Written by
In a village ravaged by an epidemic, a girl turns to the local priest for a cure for her dying sister, but the priest has a spooky suggestion.
Wow - this looks damn fine! I spent the entire film trying to figure out where it was shot: Russian language, but turns out the urban scenes are in Marburg, and the camera work takes full advantage. Also the Russian landscapes are droolishly good.
Anyway, a mysterious story and I'm not sure it's a horror. Certainly light on gore, with the emphasis on mild del Toro style grotesques, and the story is stuffed to the gills with oblique hints that didn't completely help me figure out whether or not I was in an allegorical world. At one stage I thought it was really about cancer or depression, but by the end something more literal was going on. The subtitles often seemed over-egged, and I guess I missed many points of significance. But it's beautiful to watch - as another reviewer noted, this feels like a low budget, grimy version of The Cell. And maybe the title can be explained by the three trips into ... not sure what you'd call it, purgatory? I could be totally wrong, but the scene with Mirra's half-buried dopplegangers reminded me of my sole viewing of the brilliant Russian war film Come And See.
Acting is good, effects are good, but way too much dialogue as characters give us exposition on their own motives - odd flaw in a highly visual production. There's a cartoon montage in the middle, as Ayia flicks through the shaman book - imaginative, but a strangely hammy effect.
Apart from the camera work, the outstanding element is the score by some entity called Moonbeam, with everything thrown in to create an eerie and ethereal atmosphere, with sharp elevations in tension.
Overall, I dunno. One of those movies that on a second viewing might reveal more, or confirm the suspicion of style over substance. As for horror, 'tis a mild one.
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