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MOVIE REVIEW: VIY: THE SPIRIT OF EVIL – “Campy, Eye Candy Horror”

 

 
Overview
 

Directed by: Oleg Stepchenko
 
Produced by: Gleb Fetisov, Alexander Kulikov, Leonid Ogorodnikov, Aleksey Petrukhin, Oleg Stepchenko, Oleg Teterin and Ruslan Ustinov
 
Written By: Oleg Stepchenko and Aleksandr Karpov
 
Starring: Jason Flemyng, Charles Dance, Igor Jijikine and Andrey Smolyakov
 
MTRCB Rating: PG-13
 
Genre: ,
 
FG RATING
5.0
5/ 10


User Rating
4 total ratings

 

Raves


Practical Effects, A look on Russian/Slavic culture, Some nods to Classic Horror Flicks, Seamless production value

Rants


Half-baked characters, Subtlety is missing, Overuse of CGI, Slapstick Humor, Disjointed plot points and the English Dub was a bit distracting at times


Did Viy gave a good amount of scare? Please find out in our review.

0
Posted October 21, 2014 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Halloween is just a few weeks away, which is the time of the year for scares, thrills and some suspense, coupled by a handful of monster and thriller flicks to complete the experience.

While waiting for Sineng Pambansa Horror this November, we were luckily invited to a Russian Horror Film that’ll satisfy the audiences’ cravings for scares.

Set in 18th century Ukraine, VIY: The Spirit of Evil follows the adventures of an English Cartographer Jonathan Green who stumbles into a Ukrainian village and finds himself in service of Master Sotkin to build a church in the center of the forest in order to fight off the monster, “Viy”.

The film’s premise is based from Nikolai Gogol’s 1935 short of the same title. The narrative starts with Jonathan’s romantic love and following his dreams, but then is disdained by Lord Dudley, which motivates him on his trek. One of the great aspects of the film is we get a look of the Russian/Slavic culture, its sensibilities and customs; the devotion of the village residents and religion itself and their crusade on chasing the local monster that was said to be terrorizing. Also, the thrills had its solid moments.

While the film’s societal context has its potential that could carry its momentum, the narrative focused largely on slapstick, campy and scenes with relying on CGI that may seem to be a bit overkill, there some parts that were quite unnecessary like Jonathan’s conversations with the villagers, which showed their antics rather than the threat going around. It’s disappointing that the filmmakers favored eye candy rather than subtlety. The first hour was quite consistent and the latter half just fall apart with the twists/revelations popping out left and right without considering of including some foreshadowing or establishing some plot devices that could’ve saved the film.

Practical effects were a nice touch, it was a nice nod to Horror flicks that we were grew up with, some were spot-on, and the others were a bit unnecessary, as mentioned above, the CGI was quite distracting and looked like cheap videogame graphics, but if you’re in for the 3D version, it offers a gimmicky, guilt pleasure experience.

Viy_3D_still_ (41)

The production value overall had a breath of Slavic/Russian into it, the intricate, detailed set pieces were a hard work well-paid. Costuming and make-up were convincing enough to fit the film’s setting, which makes you feel like Halloween season is around.

The ensemble made the most of their performances despite of the material that were given. Jason Flemyng outdid his performance as Jonathan Green, he manipulate his range of emotions smoothly without too much exaggerating, Charles Dance as Lord Dudley was a nice treat too(especially for Game of Thrones fan), and despite of his short screen time, he was able to juggle his range from disdain to humorous moments. Russian actors like Igor Jijikine an Yuri Tsurilo shines out in their performances out of their badly written, one-dimensional characters.

The flaws may be present throughout, but it still delivers a good amount of scares and fun, which makes it a good family film

Viy: The Spirit of Evil will hit the theaters in 2D nationwide and 3D in selected theaters this Wednesday, Octorber 22, 2014. Distributed internationally by Universal Pictures and locally by Future Entertainment.


Mico Orda

 
A passionate, enthusiastic writer, Mico Orda utilizes his filmmaking skills to keep his writer’s edge. He enjoys a lot of outdoor activities, which juice up his creative juices.


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