The Beyond (1981) is as straightforward a movie as any… really. In fact, it’s so simple that you might think you’re confused or missing something when watching it. All you need to know is that a young woman named Liza (Catriona MacColl) inherits an old hotel in Louisiana that was built on one of the seven gateways to Hell. That’s it… really.
What, things that happen don’t make sense? Does everything have to make sense? I mean, there’s an old hotel that was built on one of the seven gateways to Hell. From what I hear, Hell is a strange place. I’m not sure its governed by rhyme or reason. In fact, wouldn’t it be at least a little scarier if you couldn’t predict what happens when it leaks out into the world?
Much has been written about The Beyond and I doubt if I’ll add anything new here. In fact, it may be one of the shortest reviews of the film ever published. My advice is, well, first of all, watch it. Then second, just let the mood and atmosphere wash over you. Don’t try to figure it out. Although the screenplay is credited to three people, plot cannot have been their primary concern.
It’s all about style, and Lucio Fulci can certainly deliver, from intimate moments of extreme gore in a flooded basement to terrifying landscapes of pure terror in Hell itself. At a bare minimum The Beyond is an unsettling journey. At its full power it’s a living nightmare. If you want to experience the pure emotion of terror, there are few other ways I can think to do it.
Written by Dardano Sacchetti & Giorgio Mariuzzo & Lucio Fulci
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Starring Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoince Saint-John, Veronica Lazar
RT 87 min.
Released April 29, 1981 (Italy)
Home Video Grindhouse Releasing (Blu-ray)