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She has a chicken egg in her chest
Ninth (2019) action, drama, historical, thriller Director: Nikolai Khomeriki Cast: Daisy Head, Evgeny Tsyganov, Dmitry Lysenkov, Jonathan Solway, Yuri Kolokolnikov Premiere: November 7, 2019 It was dreamed that “Ninth” was…

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About White to be honest

A few years ago, Polina and Igor Belov lost their son. Not reconciled to the painful loss, heartbroken parents go to a Christian out-of-town shelter. While her husband met with the inhabitants of the orphanage, Polina, in horror, recognizing the features of her beloved Vanya in the face of each child, runs out into the street and suddenly hears a shot from the basement. Having come down, a woman sees a man with a shot head, and next to him is a terrible boy, fenced in by a grate, who walks on all fours and growls like an animal. Now the wild child is their new Vanya, the new beloved son. Friends say that classes and care will help him become like everyone else. But Igor feels something sinister and inhuman in him.

Shot from the movie “Creature”
In the second half of the 20th century, the family ceased to be the central theme of the comedy and fell under the radar of horror, which could better than any other genre show its imminent crisis. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Omen, or Rosemary’s Baby emphasized the breakdown in the system, and the image of the small cell of society became more radical and perverted. The issue has penetrated the genre so deeply that now almost every second horror movie appeals to family issues. In Russia, where modern realities can become excellent soil for such films, this tendency is also observed (The Bride, for example, talks about the mysterious wedding ceremony that the heroine must pass in order for her to be accepted by the groom’s parents), but the implementation is almost always lame.

Shot from the movie “Creature”
“Creature” by Olga Gorodetskaya – the new domestic horror about the family – this is a compromise movie, working at the crossroads of Western and Russian traditions, and therefore not purely national. On the one hand, the setting of urban Russia, hints of folklore elements and issues of orphanhood that are relevant to the country. On the other hand, there are exaggerated family and personal problems, which will be clear even in South Korea, where the picture, by the way, will also show, a mixture of the aesthetics of Russian reality with cinematic images (an old Christian shelter in the Gothic style in the middle of the province) and following a conventional plot.

Shot from the movie “Creature”
In Gorodetskaya, these two hypostases collide fairly neatly. Although many Russian horror-makers in such situations stepped on the same rake from time to time: for example, the creators of the Queen of Spades franchise, where an overly stereotyped story about boogeyman and foreign aesthetics leveled rare original decisions. The question here, of course, is not who will show more birches and will fit a real Russian soul into horror. But rather, the fact that domestic horror films do not adequately comprehend or ineptly implement both plot and cinematic templates.

Shot from the movie “Creature”
“Creature” in this regard, the cinema is absolutely international. It speaks of the general problem of transferring ambitions to children and accepting death, and all supernatural elements lack a clear cultural identity. But the film does not even try to become an original Russian history: it simply borrows ready-made plots of the classics and focuses on the presentation. Here the debutant’s ambitions are already saving: “The Beast” looks like a solid Western indie horror in muffled colors (our balanced horrors were just lacking such balanced oppressive shades) and, more importantly, it includes many original genre tricks. This movie does not imitate modern Hollywood canons, but refers to the classic European horror with their expressiveness. Gorodetskaya refuses the abundance of jumpscalers and creates tension through frisky pressure editing, a strange setting of frames and a game with shadows.

Sometimes the director flirts and repeats the same trick several times, and in the end, the main horror of our horrors – cheap computer graphics that safely destroys all suspense – comes into play more and more often. If desired, the “Creature”, as a small child, can be blamed for a thousand misconduct and leprosy. This is a truly dynamically rugged, stupid and predictable film. But he succeeds in what the predecessors could not achieve: for the first time in a long time in the domestic genre cinema to create an ominous atmosphere that conveys the fear of a crisis of established values. This is especially true for a society where the child becomes a projection of the desires of their own parents who could not overcome the complexes. And although in the case of “Creature” the child is the soulless fiend of hell, you should never forget that hell is us ourselves.

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