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Cast: Alina Babak, Valeriya Dmitrieva, Igor Khripunov, Evgeniya Loza, Sergey Pokhjodaev, Valentin Sadiki, Vladimir Seleznyov

Director: Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Year: 2016

Rating: NR

Legend has it that any mirror may become a portal into the world of the dead. It is said the Queen of Spades gets her energy from reflective objects and anyone who sees her will go insane or die. When four teenagers summon the Queen as a joke, one of them dies suddenly and the group realizes they have conjured up an inexplicable and deadly evil.

"Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite" tells the story of four teenagers who decide to summon an evil legend by using a mirror, crayon and a chant. What starts out as a joke soon turns into something much more deadly than they could have ever imagined.

The film doesn't really offer anything new, we have seen this type of horror film done before numerous times in such films as "Candyman" and "Bloody Mary" but that doesn't make this one any less entertaining and it does bring some of its own ideas to the table. The film doesn't waste any time getting to the story, there are no back stories involved at first and the film doesn't give any details on whom the Queen of Spades is until half way through the movie. During the first half it lets us get to know some of the characters a little better while the Queen makes her presence felt.

The suspense and tension builds slowly as the film moves along and as it gives us small glimpses of the Queen in the mirror and in the background shots. This subtle approach works really well and it continues with doors opening and lights flickering. This creates a lot of creepiness and it gets under your skin as well. The film's dim lighting also adds to the over all mood and atmosphere as does the amazing cinematography. Even the apartment building looks creepy and haunted from the outside which to adds to the feel as well.

I really liked when they revealed who the Queen was and what she did to 19 children all over greed that led to her demise. I enjoyed the first half of the film more than the third act because I thought they kind of got away from the things that made the first half so scary and effective but I did enjoy how they wrapped it all up in the final act. Just when you think it is over they toss another twist into the film.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the film was the cast, I was impressed with everyone including Alina Babak who was terrific in the lead role as Anya. Production wise the film looks and sounds amazing and the sets used were perfect. The film was shot on a limited budget and completed in 21 days which goes to show you don't need a big budget to make an effective horror movie. The film opens in Theaters on 6/10/16 so be sure to check it out.

"Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite" is a tense and frightening horror film that keeps you engage and on the edge of your seat the entire time. There isn't a second wasted in the film, it gets right to business and sticks with you long after it is over. You may never look into a mirror again after checking out the Queen of Spades.

Released by Level 33 Entertainment

**** Out Of *****