Viy (2014) a.k.a. Forbidden kingdom

If you told me I’d see another “Viy” movie, let alone one that completely changes the plot of the original I would call you crazy, and yet here we are.

Much like in the original, we have a priest is tasked to watch over the body of the recently deceased young woman for three days. Only here, the main focus of the story is an English cartographer by the name of Jonathan Green (played by Jason Flemyng) on his journey through eastern Europe. During his travels, he finds himself in a remote and isolated village where he is tasked to draw a map of the surrounding area. Once there, things start to take a weird and possibly supernatural turn where Jonathan will find himself testing his science against the satanic forces of the forest.

I would categorize this movie as a sequel of the original film even though I believe that was not the intent of the director. It picks up right after the events of the first movie that was a pretty close retelling of the book. Only here, the movie takes a very different approach to the story that I did not see at all. It has a twist that completely turns the story upside down. I’d love to talk about it but I do not want to spoil anything because honestly, it’s not something I saw coming at all. Twists like these can make or break a movie but I think it was handled very well.

But with that being said, the movie itself is not perfect. It suffered from a very low budget which stopped production quite a few times and it shows. But considering they worked with what they had the end product was honestly pretty good. The best thing about it was definitely the atmosphere and scenery. But to be fair it always is with dark fantasy movies like this. Not as good as November but still enjoyable for anyone that loves movies like these. That became evident since the movie ended up being quite successful, breaking a record in Russia for opening weekend, but unfortunately, it received mixed reviews.

I can sort of understand that, the movie is not quite for everyone, especially the odd CGI can put people off and the fact that it was in Russian and had a pretty bad dub at parts but personally I loved it. And luckily, there is a second part that actually features Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But I might not be reviewing it here since it seems more action/fantasy based and it ended up bombing in the box office which is a shame.

Final verdict: 7/10

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