Beyond - Fulci had the ideas but he definitely couldn't get the best out of them.
May 29, 2011
In 1981, a woman by the name of Liza (Catriona MaColl) inherits a hotel. While during the renovation, weird occurrences begin to take place and a worker is injured. Liza herself begins to experience strange things. Then, a blind woman named Emily (Cinzia Monreale) appears warning her to leave the hotel. Eventually, Liza learns that the hotel is somehow connected to a man who was murdered back in 1927, as well as another dark secret.-summary
On my quest to understand the Lucio Fulci cult, I have come across many of his films and either I've been burned, or I came away believing his films were slightly above average. My impression of Fulci for the last 8 years have been that of a misguided artist. The man had all of the tools to deliver one masterpiece after the next, but he lacked the coherent imagination to put those tools to work. The one thing that has held back most of his films for me have been a cohesive and gripping plot, which is the case with this.The Beyond really isn't that good. When it comes down to pushing one thing to the next you will witness some bad and aggravating writing. Fulci came off as a total hack quite often.
The Beyond aka The Seven Doors of Death is a film that I do see the two reasons for its cult classic status; the gore and the ending, and that's it. Never an area to pull punches in, Fulci once again delivers the type of disturbing content that will forever be fused into your memory. The gore sequences are sick and incredibly nasty, to include, they are properly exploited. I enjoyed every last death scene from head impalements, to brutal whippings, to bullets straight to the head. Believe me, gore hounds will feel right at home with this one.
I also believe that The Beyond has an interesting story and it actually does make sense. The introduction of zombies into the mix doesn't feel forced. Many non Fulci fans claim the zombies were too tacked on and last minute. Being a non fan myself, I don't agree with them in this area at all. The story firmly supports the zombies appearance. However, I do agree with their disdain for certain plot issues.
The plot can be pushed so awful. One moment that truly stands out to me is when a man comes falling to his injury inside of a building. Out of all the ways to set up his death. It was due to sudden lightening from outside the building? The plot issues only continue with illogical character actions and inconsistency, such as when a man was fighting off zombies with his pistol. I can understand not going for the head immediately, when given the surprise and shock of the situation, but the guy gives at least three zombies a dirt nap with a bullet to the head, only to shoot another zombie not once, but twice, in the body before going to the head. This scene fails miserably because he's only two feet away! It's so stupid to the point where I actually wanted to stop watching it.
Although the soundtrack is pleasing to hear, at times, it doesn't fit the moment properly. The acting really isn't an issue because it has good moments with capturing fear, such as the case with the girl Emily. Overall, I don't have any major issues against the acting. The ending took me by complete surprise, and I actually found it to be a good pay off. If not for the ending, I would have rated this a lot lower. Fulci definitely had a knack for special endings. This is what I mean by being a misguided artist.
In closing, if you're already a fan of Fulci's films, then The Beyond will be, or already is another classic in your book. On the other hand, if Fulci has left a bad taste in your mouth, and you consider all of his works to be atrocious. There is a good chance this film won't change your mind. Highly recommended to the gore crowd.
Pros: -Great ending -Disturbing and graphic murder scenes
**** out of **** How can something as violent, gruesome, disgusting, and relentlessly grotesque as "The Beyond" also be so mysteriously beautiful? As a film directed by Lucio Fulci - one of the Godfathers of Gore - whimsical qualities are what we least expect. But then...as you may know, I've enjoyed a few Lucio Fulci films before this one. I liked "Zombie". I liked "City of the Living Dead". I even liked "Don't Torture a Duckling". There were moments when the director had … more
WARNING Due to its SHOCKING and VIOLENT subject matter, no one under 17 should view this film. Roger Ebert, THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES "THE BEYOND does not disappoint." Perhaps nothing is quite as exciting as viewing classic Fulci films for the first time & this will be an experience you're virgin eyes won't soon forget. The Beyond … more