The Side Effect – The Terrible Consequences of People's Immorality

REVIEW
by Diana Ushkar
17.11.2020
The Side Effect (2020) is a Russian horror movie which was shot by Aleksey Kazakov and released recently. The key point of interest from a horror perspective here is the Russian heathen and mythological motives which the film uses to scare us. It is mainly dedicated to magic of the witches that is revealed as the evil here. But the movie also focuses on some social aspects showing us that the main villains are people. And this makes The Side Effect more profound.
The plot may be divided into two sections: the story of a young couple and the story of a witch. It all begins with Andrey, a young architect, who comes to a mystical woman Mara, known to be a psychic, and asks for help. From his monologue we find out that some months ago he and his wife, Olga, became victims of a robbery. The villains had tried to rape Olga, while she was pregnant and so vulnerable, and actually caused her a lot of damage as consequenly she lost her baby. In the background of that tragedy Olga got psychological trauma and her relationship with Andrey was ruined. Besides, the main hero blames himself as he confesses of not being brave enough to save his love from such painful experience. That is why he asks Mara to help Olga forget that terrible accident, so he would be able to live with his wife happily again. Though Mara agrees and her motivation to help seems convincing, the intuition tells us that there's a trap. Mara uses the magic of funguses (from Russian mythology we may know that witches used funguses to fool and even kill people) and in one moment of time she ostensibly leaves the country and has no one to watch her funguses that are being grown in her flat. On this pretext she asks Andrey and Olga to move into her apartment for some time. After they do, terrible things start to occur. Olga sees ghosts that abduct her, but Andrey doesn't know how to save his wife until a strange little girl helps him to find the right way.
That girl was also the one to reveal Mara's story and motive to make Andrey suffer. Here's the second section telling us that a long time ago the evil witch was just a little girl who was stolen from her family during the Civil War in the beginning of the 20th century and made a mistress, though she was only about 10 years old. Mara recognized her own father who hadn't been brave enough to save his daughter from such terrible destiny in Andrey. Here is the point in which two stories are connected.
Apart from the coherent plot, the movie has some other dignities. Firstly, it is vivid imagery which creates the atmosphere of horror. The camera jumps between the city landscapes and the mystical flat where our attention can focus on some interesting details. For example, the piano and the closed room are shown in such a dramatic manner that it makes us believe – these things themselves are capable of something terrible.

Another peculiarity is the soundtrack that fits perfectly in the frightening atmosphere, the music sounds in a minor and melancholy way and contains Slavic motives that reflect the theme of the movie. One of the most terrifying scenes is the one in an enchanted state where Olga sings a famous Russian lullaby and all her audience can't take their eyes off her as if they became bewitched. That really gave me the shivers.

Finally, I can say that the actors' work was great, though Alexandra Revenko (Mara) seemed a little bit miscast as far as her portrayal of the witch was upsettingly far-fetched.
Nevertheless, the intention of the film was in showing some urgent social issues through the mystical horror eye. During current events the idea that all the evil doesn't appear without a reason feels as sharp as ever and that is why the movie is important. If you want to feel the vibes of Halloween and contemplate on some important issues, this Russian horror is worth watching.
 
The Side Effect –
The Terrible
Consequences of People's Immorality

REVIEW
by Diana Ushkar
17.11.2020
The Side Effect (2020) is a Russian horror movie which was shot by Aleksey Kazakov and released recently. The key point of interest from a horror perspective here is the Russian heathen and mythological motives which the film uses to scare us. It is mainly dedicated to magic of the witches that is revealed as the evil here. But the movie also focuses on some social aspects showing us that the main villains are people. And this makes The Side Effect more profound.
The plot may be divided into two sections: the story of a young couple and the story of a witch. It all begins with Andrey, a young architect, who comes to a mystical woman Mara, known to be a psychic, and asks for help. From his monologue we find out that some months ago he and his wife, Olga, became victims of a robbery. The villains had tried to rape Olga, while she was pregnant and so vulnerable, and actually caused her a lot of damage as consequenly she lost her baby. In the background of that tragedy Olga got psychological trauma and her relationship with Andrey was ruined. Besides, the main hero blames himself as he confesses of not being brave enough to save his love from such painful experience. That is why he asks Mara to help Olga forget that terrible accident, so he would be able to live with his wife happily again. Though Mara agrees and her motivation to help seems convincing, the intuition tells us that there's a trap. Mara uses the magic of funguses (from Russian mythology we may know that witches used funguses to fool and even kill people) and in one moment of time she ostensibly leaves the country and has no one to watch her funguses that are being grown in her flat. On this pretext she asks Andrey and Olga to move into her apartment for some time. After they do, terrible things start to occur. Olga sees ghosts that abduct her, but Andrey doesn't know how to save his wife until a strange little girl helps him to find the right way.

That girl was also the one to reveal Mara's story and motive to make Andrey suffer. Here's the second section telling us that a long time ago the evil witch was just a little girl who was stolen from her family during the Civil War in the beginning of the 20th century and made a mistress, though she was only about 10 years old. Mara recognized her own father who hadn't been brave enough to save his daughter from such terrible destiny in Andrey. Here is the point in which two stories are connected.
Apart from the coherent plot, the movie has some other dignities. Firstly, it is vivid imagery which creates the atmosphere of horror. The camera jumps between the city landscapes and the mystical flat where our attention can focus on some interesting details. For example, the piano and the closed room are shown in such a dramatic manner that it makes us believe – these things themselves are capable of something terrible.

Another peculiarity is the soundtrack that fits perfectly in the frightening atmosphere, the music sounds in a minor and melancholy way and contains Slavic motives that reflect the theme of the movie. One of the most terrifying scenes is the one in an enchanted state where Olga sings a famous Russian lullaby and all her audience can't take their eyes off her as if they became bewitched. That really gave me the shivers.

Finally, I can say that the actors' work was great, though Alexandra Revenko (Mara) seemed a little bit miscast as far as her portrayal of the witch was upsettingly far-fetched.
Nevertheless, the intention of the film was in showing some urgent social issues through the mystical horror eye. During current events the idea that all the evil doesn't appear without a reason feels as sharp as ever and that is why the movie is important. If you want to feel the vibes of Halloween and contemplate on some important issues, this Russian horror is worth watching.
Made on
Tilda