Get ready for some folk horror by way of Russia! Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy, director of Russian horror flicks The Bride and Mermaid: Lake of the Dead, is bringing an iconic Russian folk figure to the big screen with Baba Yaga: Terror of the Dark Forest, and we have the trailer and first poster!
Baba Yaga is a central figure in Slavic mythology and folklore. Her origins have long puzzled scholars, though she has been traced to Slavic paganism and was possibly an important forest deity or nature spirit. In post-Christian Russia, she is a frequent character in fairy tales, often fulfilling a villainous “wicked witch” role, but she is also frequently a helper or ambiguous guardian of the woods.
From the looks of the trailer, it seems Baba Yaga: Terror of the Dark Forest will be leaning into the more malignant aspects of Baba Yaga. And there is plenty of potential for horror there. From her frightening appearance to her hut that stands on chicken legs, to her penchant for abducting and eating children — Baba Yaga has all the makings for a premium folk horror monster.
The trailer lacks subtitles, but it doesn’t need them to be effective. It’s terrifying and full of deliciously ominous imagery and some very menacing red yarn. Podgaevskiy seems to be emphasizing Baba Yaga’s baby stealing side, which has tons of horror potential.
Baba Yaga: Terror of the Dark Forest, stars Svetlana Ustinova, Maryana Spivak, Yuliya Aleksandrova, and Aleksey Rozin. Podgaevskiy’s 2017 film The Bride was a huge hit in Russia and was buzzy enough for Lionsgate to quickly snatch up North American remake rights. Could Baba Yaga be another horror smash? Perhaps we could even get a North American release? Time will tell, but keep up with all the latest news here at Nightmare on Film Street. Until then, are you eager for a horror take on the wicked witch of Russian lore? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Reddit, and over in our Facebook group.