The Anatomy Of Russian Horror (VIDEO)

Categories Analysis, Video

The first AOF video is here! Alan’s long awaited video essay on Russian horror explains why Russia didn’t make horror movies for the first half of the twentieth century, examines what Russian horror looks like today, and asks whether Russia may be on the verge of a new wave of horror.

It is an in depth look at a country not traditionally known for its horror movies, and is basically everything you may want to know about Russian horror in one video!

If you do check it out, go on over to our Youtube channel and subscribe. Let us know if you want to see more videos like this!

The following is a list of sources, further reading, and a full list of Russian horror films (including many not discussed in the video).


1. “Realist cinema is very popular in Russia…” (Pavel Khvaleev quote): The Calvert Journal
2. “Grotesque is the highest form of acting” (Stanislavsky quote): Email to author from a former Sonia Moore student.
3. “Of all the arts…” (Lenin quote): Recounted by Commissariat of Education, Lunacharsky
4. “Horror has more to do with pathology…” (Ayn Rand quote): This is actually a paraphrasing of her comments on the horror story, taken from page 113 of The Romantic Manifesto, in which she differentiates between the worthy goal of metaphysical projection of values onto art, which can include terror, and the unworthy reality of pathological projection being the only result of actual horror stories.
5. Socialist Realism becoming official in 1934: Seventeen Moments in Soviet History
6. Jordan Peele on Get Out: “The problem is, it’s not a movie that can really be put into a genre box.” Full quote on indiewire.
7. Ari Aster on Midsommar: “This film is adjacent to horror; I wouldn’t call it a horror film. I think of it as a fairy tale with horror elements.” Full interview in The Atlantic.
8. “American films are more popular than Russian ones.” (Kuleshov quote) – Essay “On Americanism” (1922) Available in The Film Factory: Russian and Soviet Cinema In Documents 1896-1939

1. “Night Flight Remembers: The Surreal Stop Motion Films Of Ladislaw Starewicz”
2. The Directory of World Cinema: Russia
3. On Necrorealism: “Lenin Was A Mushroom” 

The Cameraman’s Revenge (1913)
The Portrait (1915)
The Queen of Spades (1917)
Viy (1967)
Day of Wrath (1985)
Agony (1985)
Mister Designer (1987)
Ten Little Indians (1987)
Dogs (1989)
The Vampire Family (1990)
Daddy, Father Frost Is Dead (1991)
Lyumi (1991) – based on Little Red Riding Hood
Bloodsuckers (1991)
Gongofer (1992)
The Touch (1992)
Those Who Drink Blood (1992)
Petty Demon (1995)
The Master and Margerita (1994)
Mute Witness (1995)
The Wooden Room (1995) — Yevgeny Yufit
Snake Source (1997)
Silver Heads (1999) — Yevgeny Yufit
The Green Elephant (1999) (Svetlana Baskova)
Five Bottles of Vodka (2000) (Svetlana Baskova)
The Mystery of the Old Cemetary (2002)
Head Full of Nails (2003) (Andrei Iskanov)
The Daytime Representative (2004)
Night Watch (2003)
Day Watch (2005)
The Power of Fear (2006) (a lower-budget Viy remake)
Visions of Suffering (2006)(Andrei Iskanov)
Junk (2006)
Lift (2006)
Dead Daughters (2007)
Cargo 200 (2007)
Trackman (2007)
Captivity (2007)
S.S.D. (2008)
Dark World (2010)
Phobos the Club of Fear (2010)
Raptor Ranch (2013)
Devil’s Pass (2013)
Viy (2014)
Apartment 18 (2014)
Lady of Csejte (2015)
Diggery (2016)
Paranormal Drive (2016)
Vamps (2017)
Dislike (2017)
Philosophy of a Knife (2008) (Andrei Iskanov)
Miracle (2009)
Yulenka (2009)
Nosferatu: The Horror of Night (2010)
Ingression (2010) (Andrei Iskanov)
Faust (2011)
Zombie Infection (2011)
Shopping Tour (2012)
Winter of the Dead (2012)
The Ghost from Hovrino (2012)
Queen of Spades: The Last Rite (2015)
III: The Ritual (2016)
The Bride (2017)
Black Water (2017)
The Envelope (2017)
Gogol: The Beginning (2017)
Gogol: Viy (2018)
The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead (2018)
Deadly Still (2018)
The Soul Conductor (2018)
Gogol: A Terrible Vengeance (2019)

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