DARK SPELL (2021) Reviews of Russian horror with trailer


Dark Spell is a 2021 Russian supernatural horror film about a spurned young wife who uses a spell to bring back her husband to her.

Directed by Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy (Baba Yaga: Terror of the Dark Forest; Mermaid: The Lake of the Dead; The Bride; Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite) from a screenplay co-written with Natalya Dubovaya and Ivan Kapitonov.

The Central Partnership Productions-Iney Productions-QS Films co-production stars Yana Yenzhayeva, Konstantin Beloshapka, Ilya Yermolov, Varvara Borodina, Igor Khripunov, Sabina Akhmedova and Kristina Marandy.


Zhenya, a young wife and mother, is heartbroken after her husband Kir leaves her. Desperate, she tampers with the forces of reality by employing sinister magic — in the form of a spell called “black wedding” — to bring him back into her arms.

Sure enough, Kir returns to Zhenya … but his renewed love for her has become twisted into something far more obsessive and frightening.

Now Zhenya has no other choice but to find a way to reverse an irreversible spell, however, she soon learns that not even death will part those who have been joined by the black wedding…


“Podgaevskiy’s judicious use of some terrific special effects work is admirable; he resists the temptation to pile on the CGI just because his story involves the spirit world. As a result, this relative restraint, the film is all that much ghostlier and creepy. Keeping its approach to the occult on the PG-13-ish side, Dark Spell conjures up an enjoyably eerie hour and a half. While at times ludicrous, the film is a scary movie that makes good on its spooky promise.” Film Threat [NB: The FT website accepts payments to review films]

” …remains an ordinary mixture of horror and thriller, which drives itself into a trap and does not make any immediate changes, so as not to suddenly accidentally go beyond the established framework. In the end, we have too many demons and very little humanity, and the tension by the end of the film fades, just like the ambitions of another Russian horror movie.” Kinoafisha [translated from Russian]

Release date:

Dark Spell will be released in the USA by Scream Factory on Digital, On-Demand, DVD and Blu-ray on July 6, 2021.

Cast and characters:

Yana Yenzhayeva … Zhenya
Konstantin Beloshapka … Kir
Ilya Yermolov … Viktor
Nikita Yuranov … Oleg
Varvara Borodina … Sonya
Sabina Akhmedova … Aza the Gypsy
Larisa Domaskina … Zhenya’s Mom
Andrey Zavodyuk … Kir’s Dad
Anna Vartanyan … Kir’s Mom
Alla Malkova … Old Gypsy
Igor Khripunov … Pastor
Maksim Bramatkin … Morgue Attendant
Aleksey Klimenko … Infant Polina
Nikita Klimenko … Infant Polina
Alena Akimova … Receptionist (as Alyona Akimova)
Nikol Koreneva … Polina

Original title:

Приворот. Черное венчание aka Privorot. Chernoe venchanie “ “Love spell. Black wedding”

More Russian movies


MOVIES and MANIA says:

Dark Spell benefits from a few agreeably creepy and effective moments in the film’s key locations: in a church, at an artist’s studio and in a hospital. However, the overly-familiar Monkey’s Paw-like plot becomes slightly repetitive and the pacing is somewhat awkward; this is not helped by the use of English dubbing which unfortunately places a further barrier to the viewer’s enjoyment.

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