QUEEN OF SPADES: THE DARK RIDE (2015) Reviews and overview


‘If you summon her, you may not live to regret it’

Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite is a 2015 Russian supernatural horror film written and directed by Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy (Rusalka: Ozero myortvykh; The Bride). It stars Alina Babak, Valeriya Dmitrieva, and Igor Khripunov.

According to the legend, an ominous entity known as The Queen of Spades can be summoned by drawing a door and staircase on a mirror in the darkness, and by saying her name three times. The Queen of Spades gets her energy from reflective objects; she cuts locks of hair from those asleep, and those that see her go mad or die.

Four teenagers decide to call The Queen of Spades as a joke. However, when one of them dies of a sudden heart attack, the group realise they are up against something inexplicable and deadly dangerous…

Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite is released on DVD in the UK on April 9, 2018, by High Fliers Films.

Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk


Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite is pretty standard teen horror. The film contains standard tropes such as a possessed young girl, people only being able to see ghosts in mirrors, levitating people and objects, and so on. While these do not make it a bad film by any means, it is a mostly run of the mill horror movie.” Matt Wilson, Film Ink

 …a suspenseful thriller with a powerful demon at the centre balanced by an even stronger father-daughter bond. The story is easy to follow changing it’s pacing to pick up steam in the third act. The horror is more sensory than graphic with several scary moments that will appeal to lovers of the genre.” Francis McKay, Flick Hunter

“In this his second full feature, director Svyatoslav Podgayevskiy actually shows a deft hand at crafting a tale. He sets the mood well and has a good sense of how to design shots making environments feel a lot bigger than they actually are. On what I can only assume was a fairly modest budget, he makes things look very creepy and has a solid eye on how to set the stage for a spooky story.” David Voigt, In the Seats

Queen of Spades is more dull than dire, but during the long stretches where not much is happening, there’s plenty of time to get irritated by how indistinguishable this picture is from its American counterparts. Here’s a movie made halfway around the world that could just as easily have been shot in Glendale.” Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

” …director Svyatoslav Podgayevsky rolls through an hour or so of false scares and bland drama involving Anya’s absent father (Igor Khrupinov) before a finale that inexplicably shifts gears into an Exorcist knock-off. It’s all the more frustrating because Queen of Spades is clearly the work of a proper filmmaker.” Norman Wilner, Now Toronto

Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite‘s reliance on overly polished special effects hampers its fright factor, while the third-act left-turn into possession territory smacks of desperation and easily exacerbates the already-interminable vibe. The result is a fairly annoying horror endeavor that looks quite handsome, admittedly, and yet the movie’s overall lack of engaging elements, in the end, renders its positive attributes moot.” David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

“After a weak beginning and a promising build-up, the film changes its genre in the third act for no good reason other than to fill up a half hour.  Add occasional elaborate shots that serve no function along with wooden dialogue, and the viewer quickly realizes that Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite is a series of failures surrounding a great short film.” Shahbaz Khayambashi, Wylie Writes

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