The Baba Yaga: Terror of the Dark is a 2021 Indian horror film directed by S.S. Rajamouli. A young boy runs away from home from an orphanage because his foster-father (Laxman) neglects him. He is taken in by an ancient temple run by a woman who wishes to teach the boy but he doesn't want to. The temple's male inhabitants turn out to be more interested in pleasing the goddess of death than in learning the boy's name. When the priestess tries to poison the child, the boy's father prevents her from doing so.
The movie starts with the priestess trying to poison the boy using an antidote made of rat poison. This effort does not succeed and she ends up locked in the temple with the boy as she has become the only remaining member of the evil trio. Now she has the opportunity to kill the boy before he can learn his name or enter into the underworld. However, the evil Baba Yaga shows up and kills her.
The movie explores the myth of Baba Yaga's connection with the titular creature. Many Indian Mythology experts believe that she represents the "infernal" realm of darkness where the dead reside. Baba Yaga's true identity is most likely Snorlax, the uncle of the gods.
From the start we get to see that Baba Yaga has been seducing men and women to create havoc in the lives of humans. The movie goes on to tell how she rules this realm by destroying everything in sight. In one scene she has also killed several of the gods of the land, turning them into rocks. This is an example of her taking over the powers of the gods. She then sends her army to attack the humans, whom she views as her inferiors. When faced by the fearless protagonist of the movie Ashoka (Manish Malhotra), Baba Yaga flees, but is herself defeated.
The movie ends with Ashoka destroying Baba Yaga and restoring the world. The ensuing chaos is told to be the reason why she is so fearful of humanity. Some scholars suggest that the movie may have inspired the Buddhist concept of Heaven and Hell, which depicts a realm of torment after one has passed over from the realm of the spirit. However, others say that it is actually a metaphor for the triumph of good over evil.
The movie offers another example of the evil forces that are around us. Although the movie may have presented her as a beautiful woman, she was in fact a foul and dangerous character. The movie also gives us an idea of what happens when evil prevails over good. In the end, the good usually wins over evil, as Baba Yaga will learn when the time comes.