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Movie Review: Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite

In the past, I've covered the creepy pasta of summoning an evil spirit by calling its name three times in a mirror. And I've said vehemently how bad and stupid doing this is. I've also admitted that this reiteration of names freaks me out.

Well, it seems to be an epidemic in horror movies these days. And although I'm seriously tweaked by this type of movie, I'm also sickly drawn to it, like a moth to a flame. So, of course, when I came across Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite I had to watch it. (I didn't want to; I had to!)

Be forewarned: this is a Russian film and therefore it has subtitles. For me, that meant watching it twice and taking copious amounts of notes. Honestly, I'm not sure why I took over ten pages of notes, but I have a suspicion that my subconscious was in a full act of rebellion against my watching another Bloody Mary-type movie. My unconscious thought probably was: if I take loads of notes, I will be detached enough from all the messed up stuff happening in the movie, Right?

Nope, not in the least. In fact, it made things worse! And there I was, getting ready for bed, trying desperately not to look in my big, old, creepy mirror. Not that it mattered because the Queen of Spades, The Madame in Black, Bloody Mary, and The Candyman all decided to have a party in my dreams that night. Even Freddy Krueger would have been too afraid to show up! (Not that it would have mattered, as I find Freddy amusing, not scary, and he would have gotten his ass kicked.)

Anyway, let's get back on track, shall we?

Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite is not your typical Bloody Mary-type film. It's much worse, but in a good way. I want to tell you all the spooky details, but to be honest, if I do that I'll ruin it for you. Instead, I'm going to give my usual take on a film with some added extra things I appreciated and noticed.

As I stated earlier, Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite is a Russian film. It stars Alina Babak as Anna. Playing her three friends who coerce her into bringing the foul creature of the title into our world are Valeriya Dmitrieva as Katya, Sergey Pokhodaev as Sergey, and Valentin Sadiki as Matvey. It also stars Igor Khripunovas as Anna's father and Evgeniya Loza as her mother. Vladimir Seleznyov stars as the exorcist who's neck deep in the legend of the Queen of Spades and all of her crap. I have to hand it to all of them, they did a great job sucking me into the film with their believable portrayal of their characters.

The film's production was also top-notch. The timing was spot-on, as was the interesting story it told thanks to writer and directer Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy. The special effects weren't over the top nor too subtle but handled in each scene deftly. The cinematography exploited the starkness of the winter setting, including beautiful aerial scenes which accentuated the bleak mood and added to the dark ambiance of the film. Actually, the whole film, if you watch closely, was done with a keen eye kept on the overall feel of each of the physical locations in which the various scenes take place.

This is how a scary film really should be made.

Overall, I was impressed with this film. If you want a scare based on a familiar legend that seems to exist in many - if not most - cultures of the world, this is a must-see movie. Check it out on Amazon Prime.