The Beyond (1981)

I have a spotty history with Italian horror movies like this one. On the one hand, I really like their use of atmosphere, music and gore effects, and the majority of the ones I’ve seen have a handful of memorable moments at least. On the other hand however, entries like “The Beyond” remind me of why I have a tendency to avoid them, as a result of their narrative and filmmaking shortcomings. Like many of its brethren, there’s a tonal disconnect between the movie’s visual look and the dubbed acting, which has an unfortunate tendency to cheapen the movie’s goings on and dilutes their potential impact. There are several scenes where director Lucio Fulci seems to be throwing anything and everything at the screen, which is great for fans of gore makeup effects but more casual viewers will be left to count down how much time is left before the end credits mercifully roll. It’s on par with entries like Fulci’s own “Zombie” and “The House by the Cemetery,” so fans who appreciate them will find plenty to enjoy here but casual viewers need not apply.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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