Viy | Chicago Reader


Russian director Alexander Ptushko is known for his special effects, which have an appropriately low-tech charm in this 1967 folktale. Three traveling seminarians, needing a place to stay, stop at the home of an old woman. After one of them angers their hostess, she reveals herself to be a witch and compels him to pray over the corpse of a young woman for three nights in a row, beset by increasingly monstrous demons. The imagery resembles animated children's book illustrations, and while it's not particularly innovative as cinema, it works well here. Ptushko shares the directing credit with Konstantin Ershov and Giorgi Kropachyov. In Russian with subtitles. 78 min.

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