The UHF of the film world.
Latest news

Marina Antunes [Celluloid 02.17.15] Russia horror thriller



In a rural European village, a village that feels stuck in some limbo between the past and the present, sisters Ayia and Mirra find themselves struggling together after the death of their mother from a mysterious illness which is ravaging the countryside. As their mother lay dying, the pair promised to look after each other so when Ayia gets sick from the same ailment that killed their mother, Mirra promises to do anything within her power to save her sister.

From the beginning it's clear that there's something not quite natural going on in III. The movie opens with an ominous scene accompanied by a very creepy score care of Moonbeam but what begins as a simple drama with Mirra searching for some way to cure her sister soon takes a supernatural turn. When the local authorities quarantine their home and remove her from Ayia's side, Mirra kidnaps her sister and seeks refuge with the local priest. It's here that Mirra discovers a collection of Shamanic books that might hold the answer to saving her sister and with the priest's help, Mirra begins the long and difficult road to curing her sibling.


Written by first time screenwriter Aleksandra Khvaleeva, most of the first act of III is spent languidly following the sisters around as they mourn the death of their mother. The movie picks up steam in the second act and once Ayia becomes sick and the story turns almost solely to Mirra, III really hits its stride and the movie begins to oscillate between reality and a sort of nightmarish otherworld through which Mirra must travel in order to save her sister's soul. The semantics of how and why Mirra is traveling to this other world or subconscious or whatever it is are convoluted but the experience itself makes for the introduction of some fantastic horror elements, most notably a load of spectacular looking practical effects.

One of the amazing things about III is just how good a movie it is considering how green the production team is. This is only director Pavel Khvaleev's second feature and nearly everyone, from the actors to the crew, are first timers. That shows a little on the edges, the story is a bit slow off the starting blocks and Khvaleev spends a bit too much time on glossy visuals that don't help mover the narrative, but the movie plays well and the three central performances from Polina Davydova as Ayia, Evgeniy Gagarin as Father Herman and particularly Lyubov Ignatushko as Mirra, are excellent.

Though it feels a bit familiar, like a darker, seedier version of The Cell if it had met and had relations with Silent Hill, I quite like III. Not only are the performances great, it features some pretty spectacular effects and an interesting visual style that works well to build the mood and atmosphere of the movie. III is a solid new entry into the supernatural horror canon.

III is currently making the festival rounds.


You might also like

avatar

eveyanq (3 years ago) Reply

Can't wait to watch whole movie..
You can watch triler here: https://vimeo.com/114594099
Cheers!


Leave a comment