“Viy is a creation of popular imagination,” according to the opening credits of this 1967 supernatural horror film. Based on Nikolay Gogol’s novella of the same name, the film follows the encounter of a laidback theology student with the macabre forces that lurk about the farmlands of imperial Russia. Dark and somewhat ironic, this fable is an allegorical test of faith, set in an authentic environment.
Blending Slavic folkloric themes with vivid Orthodox imaginary, “Viy” might look outdated, but uniquely bizarre visuals still have something to offer. Like a witch surfing around a church on a flying coffin. Renowned game designer Hideo Kojima called “Viy” his “favorite Russian cult movie,” and the man knows his stuff when it comes to suspense and storytelling.
You can watch “Viy” via Mosfilm's official YouTube channel, alongside a great number of classic Soviet and Russian movies. The selection includes melodrama, comedy, war films and is a handy source of cinematic nostalgia.