Halloween Horror Binge: Day 3: Viy (1967)


A striking film adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s story. I’ve seen this referred to as the first Soviet horror movie, only approved by the national censors because of its basis in folklore. 

It’s definitely a movie I want to research and see again. The version I saw had amazing color and texture, but was dubbed, which was kind of a bummer. 

Similar to The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016), men watch over or perform actions to aid young, dead women tell their stories or get to the other side. Both films question who really needs the help in these situations. Here, a philosopher/priest-in-training must sit with a young woman for three nights and read her last rights. 

Also, he may have killed her.
Also, she might be a witch who is either having a laugh or meting out justice or both.

Autopsy is more suspenseful and scary, but Viy’s ending turns into something like Dreyer making a version of Hausu (1977) with a ballet troupe. Scary? Hmm...depends. Spectacular and weird? Absolutely.

Tomorrow: An anthology of very British Twilight Zone-esque storytelling with Orson Welles and Three Cases of Murder (1955).