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Translations of Russian horror films

As a Russian translator, I enjoy watching films from both Soviet and Russian cinematography.

I recently watched a very interesting Russian film called ‘Vyi’ (in the original Russian ‘Вий’). I was warned that it was a horror film, based on a short story by Nikolai Gogol, but the first few minutes of the film were more indicative of a cinematic fairy tale. It is only in the following scenes that elements of horror appear, interspersed with love and folk elements. Admittedly, I had not read the story by the famous Russian writer, but I watched the film with interest. An English cartographer, who has travelled from Western Europe to Eastern Europe, via Transylvania and the Carpathians, arrives in a Ukrainian village hidden in the forest in a carriage that is bizarre for the time.

Along the way, he meets two locals who tell him a strange story about their lost company and about a hut where a witch lives. One of the locals, living in this village, is mourning the death of his daughter. He commissions the newcomer to draw a map of the entire area, which the cartographer makes from the tower of an abandoned church. The local inhabitants were afraid and did not go near the church for fear of their own lives.

The name of the film, ‘Vyi’, refers to a certain legendary creature living in Ukrainian lands, and while watching the film until the very end, I had the impression that all the evil I witnessed came from him.

The plot of the film keeps the viewer in suspense all the time until the very end, which I won’t reveal, and I suggest that each of you watch this interesting film in the Russian version at home , especially recommended to those who are involved in translations from Russian. Highly recommended!!!


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