Viy by Oleg Stepchenko on Blu-ray
My rating: 7 out of 10 stars
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.
This movie is probably quite unknown by most people. I certainly had never heard of it when I stumbled on it. It is a quite entertaining little fantasy / supernatural / crime movie though. I am actually not sure what to classify at as. It starts of as a fantasy movie but is it really?
The cinematics of this movie is very good. For me it was the main part contributing to the enjoyment. The small world of these villagers is cinematically beautiful, dirty and gritty at the same time. The characters themselves with their enormous moustaches and weirdly cut hair are great. The special effects will perhaps not win any awards but they were good nonetheless. I especially liked the transformation scene during the meal somewhere in the middle of the movie.
The story is a bit of a roller coaster ride and sometimes it felt a bit disjointed. It was not really obvious why one scene or event was followed by another at all times. But then, taking into account the later events in the movie it was perhaps ment to be a bit disjointed and “dreamy” and I have to confess that I was extremely tired when watching this movie.
The ending was a bit of a surprise. This is where the movie kind of went from a fantasy movie to more of a crime story. I have to say that I did not really see that coming until it was about to fall in my lap.
There are definitely worse ways of spending two hours in the evening, especially if you like movies that are not the typical mainstream Hollywood fare.