Forbidden Empire – also known as Viy (Russian: Вий) and Viy 3D – is a 2012 dark fantasy film directed by Oleg Stepchenko. It is loosely based on the Nikolai Gogol story Viy (previously filmed in 1967) and a real person – Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan (1595-1685) – a French traveller and cartographer who was the first to study the Ukrainian territories and their people and culture.
The film had been in production since December 2005 but filming several times due to funding issues. It stars Jason Flemyng (From Hell; The Bunker; The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Aleksey Chadov, Valery Zolotukhin, Anna Churina, Charles Dance, Agniya Ditkovskite.
In October 2012, filming was completed and distribution was sought via Universal. Viy was released in 3D in cinemas in Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan on 30 January 2014.
Early 18th century. Cartographer Jonathan Green undertakes a scientific voyage from Western Europe to the East.
Having passed through Transylvania and crossed the Carpathian Mountains, he finds himself in a small village lost in impassible woods of Ukraine. Nothing but chance and heavy fog could bring him to this cursed place. People who live here do not resemble any other people which the traveller saw before that.
The villagers, having dug a deep moat to fend themselves from the rest of the world, share a naive belief that they could save themselves from evil, failing to understand that evil has made its nest in their souls and is waiting for an opportunity to gush out upon the world…