The Queen of Spades: The Black Rite (Pikovaya dama: Chyornyy obryad, 2015)

UK High Fliers Films DVD edition

Yes, i had very low expectations for this horror movie (and low expectations is always a good thing to have when watching a film, and especially a
genre film like this) as it sounded very generic. A Teenage Horror movie with a ghost creature showing up from some other dimension or something
and i was worried about the usual incompetent over-use of CGI as seen in umpteen of Hollywood teenage horrors of the Haunted House type.
BUT, this was a Russian Teenage Horror and it cleverly had a middle-aged man in the main role, a father worrying about his 12 year old daughter.
It didn't show the creature overly much, it had a bleak and atmospherical setting in an apartment house somewhere in Russia in winter, and with
fine acting and a creepy and ambient sounding electronica score (by .... i'm not sure, maybe by Pavel Ruminov, more known as a director).

This type of teenage horrors that has swept the world the last decennia or so isn't my type of horror films, but the first part of this film i actually
found to be scary, when the rational father Anton ( a very good Igor Khripunov) at first dismiss the terror of the kids and of his daughter as some
hysteria, but soon himself starts to feel the terror when he realizes the creature is for real.
The second part of the film is trashier when Alina Babak turns into a russian Linda Blair, but that was entertaing too. There has been a sequel
made in 2019 "Queen of Spades: Through the Looking Glass" which i haven't seen, and this could be a russian film franchise. Mirrors are Scary !

The Story:

Four youngsters (aged from 12 to perhaps 18), Anya (Alina Babak, holding the candle in the pic above), Katya, Sergey and Matvey has gathered
in Katya's aunts apartment where she tells the other three a frightening story about a nasty ghost, The Queen of Spades, that can be summoned
out of a mirror or a reflecting object by chanting "Queen of Spades, Show Yourself" and by drawing a door on a mirror. If she appears she will cut
the hair of the one who annoys her and who's about to die.
The kids perform the ritual and nothing seems to happen, at first, but a day later Matyev tells Anya that he has seen her, and then he dies suddenly
from a heart attack. Anya lives with her mother Marina (Evgeniya Loza) and she calls her ex-husband Anton (Igor Khripunov) a car mechanic for
support as a neighbour boy has died and Anya is filled with terror. Anya tells her father that she too has seen The Queen of Spades.

Anton strangely enough .... or not .... won't believe her, he's sceptic to put it mildly - "Your friends are morons, Is there nobody normal around?".
But soon Anton starts to see "Her" too, in a mirror and in his dreams. A man on the Internet seems to know more about this nasty apparition and
Anton finds him, he's Smirnov (Vladimir Seleznyov, also great) and he reluctantly will help Anton. He tells Anton about the history of the apparition.
The Queen of Spades ghost once was an aristocratic lady in the 19th century who murdered children, and was lynched for her evil deeds.

With Alina Babak turning into a Russian Linda Blair and with Vladimir Seleznyov as Max Von Sydow's Exorcist, the latter with his know-how about
esoteric things could be the equivalent to a Taoist magic man in a Hong Kong Gong Tau horror film or the dwarf woman medium in Poltergeist.

The UK DVD presents the film in widescreen ratio (2.35:1) and with a russian audio 5.1 or 2.0 with english subtitles, no extras. region 2


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