There’s a lot to like about the trailer for The Russian Bride. It’s full of brilliant cinematography, freakish supporting characters, and bloody mayhem that would entice even the most jaded of genre fans. And while all of those elements are in the final product, consistency is key, and that’s where this one falls short of its arguably overly ambitious vision.

… falls short of its arguably overly ambitious vision.

The film follows a wealthy man that finds what he believes to be true love by way of a Russian bridal website. After a quick (and unnecessary) glance of his wife-to-be’s current struggles, we jump to the bride and her daughter moving into the man’s secluded mansion. Shortly thereafter, we learn that not all is what it seems with this new living arrangement. This is where The Russian Bride excels. We know there’s more than meets the eye, but audiences will likely be guessing all the way up until the final twist is revealed. Unfortunately, there are problems. Lots of them.

As aesthetically pleasing as the film is on occasion, it’s equally as perplexing. There’s a horseback riding scene in particular that suffers not only from poor photography, but visual fx errors and drastically different (and bad) color grading from the rest of the film. There’s even a baffling exterior shot of the mansion created using miniatures, and it doesn’t look great. But there are other exterior shots where the actual set was utilized to great success. It’s all very inconsistent. The same can be said for the cast. While most lines delivered by the main trio are decent enough, supporting characters struggle to find a sense of realism. As a result, deaths and twists carry less weight than they should. It’s not that the film is bad. It’s simply frustrating that it isn’t better given the success it often finds.

Audiences will likely be guessing all the way up until the final twist is revealed.

By the time the dust settles and the body count rises, it’s hard to say that The Russian Bride isn’t an entertaining film. But due to plot lines that run cold, visual fx decisions, and wild ambition that is seemingly overshadowed by its budget–it’s hard to flat out recommend this one. It’s simply “fine”, and that’s a shame. This one had the legs to be something great. Instead–it isn’t.

The Russian Bride screened at the 2018 Cinepocalypse in Chicago, IL. No release date has been set.