This Halloween: A Russian guide to scary movies2017 789
Russia’s first horror films appeared before the Revolution in 1917 and, unfortunately, did not survive to present day. These first films had largely to do with the flowering of symbolism and other decadent tendencies in Russian literature that actively promoted interest in mysticism.
Later, horror movies were not produced in the Soviet Union, where the only permissible artistic method was socialist realism. The screen version of Nikolai Gogol’s Viy remains the only example of a horror movie made in Soviet times. A revival of interest in the genre began in the late 1980s, during perestroika. Since then, many little-known, low-budget Russian horror movies have been shot, but the worthwhile films in this genre are more aptly described as thrillers.
1. Viy (Вий, 1967) with English subs and English Dubbing:
One night, a young seminarian named Khoma Brut accidentally kills a witch. Shortly afterward, Khoma is summoned to perform the funeral service for a young lady who turns out to be the very same witch. The service is to last three nights, during which the witch will ultimately seek her revenge on the young student.
2. Ten Little Indians (Десять негритят, 1987) with English subs:
A group of strangers are invited to a desolate island. The group includes a retired military man, a doctor, a teacher, a policeman, a judge, an elderly lady — people from all different walks of life. They arrive only to discover that their host is not on the island and that, in the house where they are staying, the servants have no idea who hired them. Because of bad weather, the island loses contact with the mainland; the boat that brought them to the island disappears. The guests settle into their rooms and decide to wait and see what happens…
3. Mister Designer (Господин оформитель, 1987) with English subs:
This mysterious story, shot in the style of Russian Decadence, takes place at the beginning of the 20th century. A brilliant (or perhaps mad) artist meets a beautiful girl who looks exactly like one of the mannequins he created.
4. Touch (Контакт, 1992) with English subs:
Investigator Andrei Krutitsky is assigned the job of looking into the mysterious suicide of a young mother. Before taking her life, Olga Maltseva suffocated her small son with a pillow. Olga’s lover claims that she had been driven to suicide by the ghost of her father. Olga’s father, who died 12 years earlier in an accident at a chemical plant, had allegedly been appearing to his daughter every day, insisting that she kill herself and her son. Immediately after talking to the investigator, Olga’s lover also commits suicide.
5. Miracle (Чудо, 2009) with English subs:
In 1956, during a merry celebration in the Soviet provinces (the town of Grechansk in the film, the town of Kuybyshev in actual fact), a girl named Tatiana takes an icon of St. Nicholas and dances with it. She freezes suddenly – still as a statue. Horrified, her friends all run out of the house. Tatiana continues standing there, frozen stiff for weeks.
6. Walking Down the Place of a Skull (Прогулка по эшафоту, 1992) with English subs:
Two people in love will find a hut in the woods that they decide to sleep in. The cottage is located on the shore of a lake and beautiful views is just a shadow of an ax stuck in the executioner’s block of wood near the house. When they wake up one morning, they see a peacock and the cottage has been transformed into a beautiful palace…
7. Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite (Пиковая дама: Чёрный обряд, 2015) with EnglishRussian️ Spanish️ Italian️ Portuguese️ subtitles:
8. The Vampire Family (Семья вурдалаков, 1990) with English and Turkish️ subtitles:
9. Silver Heads (Серебряные головы, 1998) with English subtitles:
In a forest bunker a bunch of scientists conduct experiments on themselves and one another "to replace human cells with a synthesis of human and wood molecules,” for "this will solve the problem of uniting Man and Nature and lead to their merging into one ecologically ideal essence.”
10. Daddy, Father Frost Is Dead (Папа, умер Дед Мороз, 1991) with English subtitles:
A biologist, obsessed with the idea of writing a treatise on a new kind of mouse, becomes witness to a number of bizarre and horrific events, from his son's suicide, to the S&M engaged in by respectable middle-aged men, to his own family's psychic morbidity.
11. III: The Ritual (III, 2015) with English German ️Spanish️ Portuguese PortugueseBR️ Turkish Arabic️ subtitles:
A small European town, where sisters Ayia and Mirra live, gets struck down by an unknown disease which takes many lives. Following their mother's death, the younger sister falls ill. Having realized that conventional medicine is useless in the face of the sister's disease, Ayia seeks help from Father Herman, a parish priest and a close family friend. In his house she finds books that are very far from the conventional religion. She gets to know that only penetration into Mirra's sick subconscious mind and discovery of the true cause of her disease will give her a chance to save her sister. Ayia is ready to go through this terrifying ritual, dive into the depths of the subconscious mind, and face the demons residing there.