AWESOME! Even if some things are a little hard to follow.
The Beyond (1981)
Directed By: Lucio Fulci
Where to get it: Grindhouse Releasing
Lucio Fulci’s 1981 film, The Beyond, is a film I have a long history with. Having first ran across the movie when I was a small child and being totally freaked out, it was a film that stuck with me throughout the years. So naturally, it was one of the first horror films I would be sure to pickup when it hit DVD and I was starting my hardcore horror collecting. It’s hard to describe everything that takes place in this film to someone who hasn’t seen it, because it’s just so full of visuals worth seeing for yourself and so spectacular that words just don’t seem to do them justice. So, please look past me here a bit as I attempt to put this movie to words for this review.
A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where after a series of supernatural ‘accidents’, she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell. With the door now being open, it sets the stage for some awesome visuals and some of the classic gore stuff that Fulci is known for and remembered very dearly for today. While some things here and there are a little hard to make sense of on just one viewing, it still has the level of horror stuff going down that can keep the average movie goer awake at night, or give them nightmares.
The best way to describe, The Beyond, is probably to say it’s like a nightmare on screen. A live action nightmare that can be very eerie and supper chilling. Fulci might have been a known atheist, but the man still was able to capture the very darkest visuals of what hell could be like on screen. And it’s the stuff this film gives you in that sense that makes it standout to people watching the movie even today. And even when creepy and bloody things aren’t going down on screen, you have actress, Catriona MacColl, in the leading role. An actress that has starred in a number of Lucio’s films, and I think it’s always a pure joy seeing her.
But since the blood and gore is so strong and welly done, I think it’s only right we take a moment to talk about it. YES, this film does have a spider scene that looks fake in parts, but let’s be happy it’s the 80s and not ruined by crappy CGI. It’s still chilling and it still makes my skin crawl today. We also have a number of evil beings that if they weren’t dead beforehand, die in very graphic ways that are awesome to witness. And once the film reaches it’s “outer realm” scene (you’ll know which one I’m talking about when you see it), it’s bleak, it’s kinda vague, but it is certainly spine tingling. I wish we had more people like Fulci around today making horror films.
Of course, this movie does pack some things and scenes that may be hard to figure out, or might just not make sense upon the first viewing. I think this is one of those movies that gets better each time you watch it and it’s very much worth watching more than once. It’s never dull, it’s packed with cool characters like a blind lady named, Emily, and it’s loaded with everything that made both Fulci and this time period great. And once you get to the ending, it’s true you may be a bit confused. But it’s also true that you will be majorly creeped the heck out too. It’s a classic, folks. There’s not a better way to word it than that.
I’m always torn between this and Zombie when I’m asked what my favorite Fulci movie is. There’s just something about this one that makes my skin get goose bumps and I think it’s a great movie to show someone if you want to just freak them out. So is it better than Zombie? I don’t know if I can for sure say, but it’s at least on that same level.
The Rating (8/10)