Country: Russia / Germany
Movie Review: Pavel Khvaleev's sophomore feature film, “III”, can be as much contemplative and idyllic as sinister and eerie. Ayia (Polina Davydova) and Mirra (Lyubov Ignatushko) get completely devastated when their mother falls sick and dies from a mysterious disease that is making more and more victims over the city. While the older sister, Ayia, finds strength in her religious faith to deal with the grief, Mirra shows to be a non-believer, rejecting God, as she feels responsible for her mother’s death. She eventually catches the fatal disease, falling in a sort of delirious state where dark dreams mirror a hidden past of traumas and suffering. Soon an order to abandon the house arrives to the desperate Ayia, who can only count with the help of the town’s priest and family friend, Father Herman (Evgeniy Gagarin). The latter revealed to be wobbly in his faith but swore to take care of the sisters. Resorting to mystical practices and an esoteric book written by a shaman, the priest will try to connect the sisters’ minds, since according to him, the only way to save Mirra is to find and kill the deepest fear that resides in her subconscious. A burdensome journey to her sister’s worst nightmares doesn’t shake Ayia’s determination. Will this be sufficient to save Mirra? The powerful score, together with the intense images extracted from Igor Kiselev’s beautiful cinematography are the most positive aspects in “III”, a horror tale that couldn’t avoid gaps in the plot and a confusing narrative. It creates some good moments, though. The abrupt conclusions might divide the fans of the genre, but even flawed, a few thrills and surprises are guaranteed.