tirsdag 23. oktober 2012

"A Horror Delight"


Original Title: Вий (Vij)
Year: 1967
Country: Soviet Union
Language: Russian
Number: 477
Director: Georgi Kropachyov
Starring: Leonid Kuravlyov, Natalya Varley, Aleksei Glazyrin, Nikolai Kutuzov

Viy is by many stated as the very first horror film ever created in the Soviet Union. It's based on the Ukrainian 19th century story by Nikolai Gogol. It's the tale about the young seminary student named Khoma Brutus who's send out from his studies to go to a village to perform exorcism on a young maiden who just died but still haunts the village. Her father gives Khoma the task of spending three night alone with her corpse inside the church, which something of course is all other than a nice experience.

Looking at Viy with today's eyes, it's special effects are poor, and indeed with some very laughable blue-screen effects that is kind of awful, even at that time. But then again it's just funny, even though I feel that it's all done in a studio, which kind of destroy the experience. But it's still some very scary moments that would probably traumatize young children, but is a horror treat for the adult audience. I specially liked Natalya Varley's performance as the possessed girl. It's really scary. It is in fact a spooky film, and exhilarating horror film in true Tim Burton style, with some disney horror as we seen in Pinocchio and The Black Cauldron. Overall Viy is a horror film that passes the test as a horror film, but not the test of time. Thumbs up.

Grade: B-

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