The Beyond (...E tu vivrai nel terrore! L'aldilà)
Film: The Beyond (...E tu vivrai nel terrore! L'aldilà)
Director: Lucio Fulci
Writer: Dardano Sacchetti, Giorgio Mariuzzo and Lucio Fulci
Starring: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck and Cinzia Monreale
This film begins in the 1920s New Orleans. We see a group of men in a boat. They are approaching a hotel. Staying here is a man played by Antoine Saint-John. He is staying in room 36 and he is painting a picture. In a different place, reading from a forbidden book called Eidon is Cinzia Monreale. From what she is reading there are seven portals to the other side. If you come in contact with them, you will be damned. Saint-John is staying above one. He is murdered by the men, being whipped with a chain and then killed with an acid like substance. He is then buried behind a wall.
We then shift to 1981. A woman has inherited the hotel from her uncle; she is played by Catriona MacColl. She is fixing up the place and will use it as her income. Her friend is there helping her to renovate, he is played by Michele Mirabella. She greets the painter, who when he turns to look into the house sees a woman with blank eyes. He falls to his death.
This worker is helped inside, but he is coughing up a lot of blood. A doctor is called; he is played by David Warbeck. He tries to help, but can’t so he takes him to the hospital. Also in the house helping MacColl is Veronica Lazar and Gianpaolo Saccarola. Oddly enough, she did not find either, but they came with the house.
Next to come to the hotel is the plumber, played by Giovanni De Nava. He goes down in the basement where Lazar has set up a path for him. The water is not working, but the basement is flooded. Lazar goes deeper and breaks through a brick wall. He touches another and it crumbles to find the body of Saint-John. The body isn’t dead and it gouges his eyes out. He is taken away after Lazar finds him.
Warbeck examines the body along with a colleague, played by Al Cliver. The corpse of Saint-John was also brought in. Cliver has an experiment he is doing with brain waves and convinces Warbeck to let him try it on Saint-John, even though he’s been dead for sixty years. He doesn’t get anything though, that is until he leaves the room.
Nava’s wife, played by Laura De Marchi, and his daughter, played by Maria Pia Marsala, come to see his body and prepare him for a funeral. Marchi goes in to see him alone. The problem is that something happens and she ends up on the floor. Marsala comes in to see a glass of acid pour on to her face. Marsala tries to flee the growing pool. It cuts away and she screams.
We are then at their funerals. We see that Monreale is back, with blank eyes. She has met MacColl and lets her in that she knows quite a bit about her and the hotel. Monreale also comforts Marsala, who we see also now has blank eyes.
MacColl goes to the house that Monreale lives in. She then learns there that the house she lives in is cursed and she needs to get out. She also learns a bit more about Eidon. She meets up with Warbeck and they hit it off. MacColl returns home to find the corpse of Saint-John crucified in her bathroom to the wall. Warbeck shows up, but doesn’t see it. It is now gone as well. He even goes to check out the house and Monreale, to find that it has been empty for years.
Is any of this really happening or are they just accidents? Is Monreale real? If this is real, can they stop Saint-John and the wheels that are in motion before it is too late? Is anyone safe?
I want to lead off saying that I really like the back-story to this film. You get the feel of films like Evil Dead and Hellrasier, before they were made. I think this would be scary to find a gate to hell and then to have it open. The death scenes are definitely cringe-worthy, as there is a lot of blood and gore. The music is good as it helps to make this film creepier and helps to enhance the horror. I also really like that anyone who goes to the hotel or tries to investigate it or even comes in contact with someone who has been effected, the curse goes after them as well. This is can also be considered a basis for The Grudge. I also love the ending and really wish that they would have done a little bit more. It looked like they just had a matte painting that they just kept showing over and over. Despite this, I love what they did.
Now I did have some issues with this film. I think that a lot of the death scenes were kind of out of place. I thought they were pretty good, but the amount of blood and gore does go overboard, which I am not a huge fan of. The relevance of some of what happens is thrown out of the window to help to go more for the gross out factor. The acting is okay, but it takes a backseat to the horror along with the story. The decision making of the characters was really bad as well, to the point where it is annoying. The worst is Warbeck during the final sequence; he doesn’t really understand how to kill the zombies he encounters, even though he clearly saw what worked. He wasted away too much ammunition in the process.
With that said, I would still recommend this film on the historical context only. This film helped pave the way for more modern classics. The story and acting are average, but the horror is up there. This film goes for over the top gore and blood. It definitely had me cringing from the beginning. It does have a good back-story and is a scary film. I do feel that this is a good film and definitely interesting. This is also the second film in director Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell trilogy. With every viewing I appreciate it more.
My Rating: 8 out of 10