- 1 hr 45 min
Strigoi is a gripping Romanian film that offers an intriguing mix of horror, fantasy, and social commentary. Released in 2009, it tells the story of Vlad Cozma (Catalin Paraschiv), a young man who returns to his village in Transylvania after a long stay in Italy. The reason for his return is the death of his father, who was killed in a bizarre accident involving a horse-drawn carriage. However, Vlad soon realizes that his father's death might not have been an accident after all, and that the village is plagued by a much deeper and darker problem.
As Vlad starts to investigate his father's death, he uncovers a web of lies, superstitions, and secrets that have been haunting the village for centuries. He also discovers that the dead are not really dead, but rather undead beings called strigoi, who have been fuelling the village's economy and power structures for generations. The strigoi are not your typical blood-sucking vampires, but rather a hybrid of traditional Romanian folklore and modern-day social critique. They are an allegory for the corrupt and parasitic nature of the ruling class, who suck the life out of the common people and perpetuate their own power through manipulation and exploitation.
The film's director, Faye Jackson, is a British filmmaker who spent several years in Romania to research the country's folklore and culture. Her attention to detail is evident in every frame of the film, from the stunning landscapes of Transylvania to the authentic costumes and customs of the villagers. Jackson also employs a unique visual style that blends documentary-style realism with dreamy surrealism. For example, she uses long takes, hand-held cameras, and natural lighting to capture the daily routines and interactions of the villagers, but also incorporates fantastical elements such as shadows, reflections, and visual metaphors to convey the eerie and uncanny atmosphere of the film.
The acting in Strigoi is superb, especially considering that most of the cast are non-professional actors. Catalin Paraschiv gives a nuanced and sympathetic performance as Vlad, a man torn between his loyalty to his father and his sense of duty towards his community. Rudy Rosenfeld is equally convincing as PapanÄ, a mysterious and cunning villager who becomes Vlad's ally in his quest for the truth. Constantin Barbulescu, who plays the village priest, is also noteworthy for his subtle portrayal of a conflicted and compassionate character who struggles with his faith and his conscience.
While Strigoi is primarily a horror film, it also has a strong socio-political subtext that critiques the post-communist transition of Romania and the growing disparity between the rich and poor. The film exposes the corruption, greed, and hypocrisy of the ruling elites who have abandoned their traditional values and exploited their own people. It also highlights the resilience, solidarity, and ingenuity of the ordinary folk who have to survive in a hostile and hostile environment. Strigoi, therefore, is not just an entertaining and well-crafted horror film but also a critical commentary on contemporary issues that affect us all.
In conclusion, Strigoi is a must-see film for anyone who loves horror, fantasy, or world cinema. It is a rare gem that combines genre conventions with social relevance and artistic ambition. It will make you laugh, shiver, and think, and it will leave you with a haunting and unforgettable impression of Transylvania and its people.
Strigoi is a 2008 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.4.