Ilya Naishuller turns a night at the circus into a symphony of destruction in this astonishing promo for Leningrad’s ‘Kolshik’. Beginning on a thick plume of black smoke, the video slowly reveals what caused this audience to flee in terror.
It’s one of the more demented examples of the butterfly effect you’re likely to see. More and more colourful characters are introduced as the story unfolds in reverse, including psychotic mob bosses, a bloodthirsty tiger, and a couple putting the, erm, spark back into their relationship.
Notably, Naishuller ditches his trademark first-person perspective. It’s oddly relaxing not to be the one dropping bodies left, right, centre, and occasionally above for once. However, fans will be pleased to hear he’s lost none of his zeal for extreme violence and gore. Bodies are mangled, splattered, and reduced to a cloud of blood with mischievous glee.
Technically brilliant, there’s also some canny storytelling going on. Each story thread comes together in amusing and macabre ways, and Naishuller ensures the madness remains cohesive. A repeat viewing even reveals the ‘culprit’ hiding in plain sight at the beginning - another clever detail in a spectacular calamity.