harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,
harsens_rob
harsens_rob

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Okay, Okay, I know.... Mini-Review post


I'm inserting a review here that is not BTVS.

For this story, my first observation is: It is hard to keep up with the 'logical timeline', which for me is a deterrent. For you, you may like the workmanship more than the story.


The next review was supposed to be BTVS... see, at least I know I lie, which is the first step... blah, blah....


Anyway, since I just saw a movie on cable that is on my
"must buy" list, I've decided to post a 'mini review' before diving back into BTVS: Reptile Boy  (which I've already mentioned is boring; I'm not sure why I rate S2 so highly, since it doesn't get interesting until Buffy gives IT up to Angel... which is a bit off yet).

So this is my mini-review of "The Beyond"... which I still want to buy eventually and do a proper scene-by-scene of:


The basic storyline is that there are 7 doorways to Hell. One of these is a hotel that is abandoned since all of the residence disappeared one night. (Side Comment: I include this is in the back story of Spanderverse. In my version of fanfic Buffyverse, there are 666 of these though, with only 1 being active at a time. I keep planning on my series mentioning this specifically, but - you know how it is, but MUSE just dictates other stories in which your ideas don't exactly fit).


Anyway, the basic review:  {Warning: Like all of my reviews, this may include spoilers.}





So, a woman inherits this hotel and wants to refurbish and open it, but mysterious happenings get in the way....


This is considered a 'classic' of Lucio Fulci... but after catching the flick, I have to say I'm kinda disappointed. It's not a bad movie, but the build up was far more than the movie itself could sustain.

What I got out of this, really, is that Lucio had a series of 'set pieces' that made no logical sense, but could be sort of accepted under the basis of "HELL is breaking loose, so it doesn't have to make complete sense". I'm a little too plebeian, I admit, so this doesn't really work for me.

There are too many scenes that seem either too abrupt jump-cuts, are extremely unclear as to timeline, or are seemingly random to make complete sense. This isn't always a bad thing: Lord knows I've been a complainer of some director/script-er taking a perfectly good idea and then having a character unnecessarily stating the idea explicitly so that we roll our eyes.

But, in this case, there are too many moments when you ask, "Huh? Wait. Why? What? Did the Director have an idea here, or were scenes just filmed, figuring he or the editor would figure it out later?" which ruins it for me.

Anyway, if there is one thing I do like about The Beyond it is the main actor and actress. Both Catriona MacColl and David Warbeck do a good (and sometimes Very Good) job of playing characters in which something strange is happening that they simply are not equipped to deal with, let alone actually accept.


The Good:  The two main actors do a good to very good job of trying to grasp what is happening.

I like the ideas behind the storyline, in which a 'warlock' is killed and then decades later his fate comes back to impact the innocent and ignorant living. I'm a sucker for these kind of stories, so your mileage may vary.

Well, there are plenty of victims, which is always good in a 'body count' type picture.

There was something about the late 70's, early 80's period in which the endings generally ended in a shocking downer of an ending. I'm not talking about the whole 'killer has taken enough injury from Final Girl to be dead 3 times, but still manages to attack her in a "shock" moment [quotes because this was so repeated, it ended up being a cliche, despite every director thinking it was new and surprising]'. This movie actually takes advantage of it in the most effective moment of the film, in my opinion.

The Gore. {Yes, you're going to find it under the "Bad" too. I'll explain there... but some of it was rather good, and I'm sure shocking to the time.}


The Bad:  Wow. The obvious "I think this would be a shocking scene... don't worry about the sense..." scenes are obvious. Most of those 'other sites', which I'm not slamming, because I often visit them... will tell you about 'seeming to be trapped in a nightmare' scenario. No. It is more about "I like what is in my head and screw those 'common' audiences who don't get MY VISION'.

That Gore. [Yes, yes, some of it is very well done... but some of it is so obviously a mannikin, it is hard to take seriously; See guy in library eaten by tarantulas scene, not to mention trying to throw lye on a man, while bare handed - amazing stuff lye... it manages to eat away a face, while ignoring the hands of the scooper/thrower].

Some of the story set-up is stupid enough to be distracting [I'm thinking of an 'orderly/assistant' who decides to set up a 'brain scan' on a 60-year old corpse. The fact that the scan picks up a single heartbeat, even though it is on the corpse's head... or how about a civilian being able to enter a morgue to dress her dead husband?].

Emily... Jeezus, she's annoying.


Other Thoughts: Like I implied, if you are less interested in linear thinking and more about a director's 'vision' and the visuals, you may get far more out of this than me. I basically found it non-sensical... which may work where 'Hell is intruding on Earth' sense, but this felt more like "Director clueless" than a deliberate plan to keep the audience off kilter.


The Score: I so wanted to like this... you have no idea. But it takes too much imagination by the audience to construct an actual storyline than should be necessary. This seems more about trying to push boundaries in gore, than about storytelling, which I'm always less enamored with.


Scoring: There is SO much about this story I want to love. And, of course, Lucio is a 'name' in horror... but I'm sorry, as a series of set pieces this is wonderful. As an actual story... not so much. I know, I'll be hated for this, but my final score is:

2.75 out of 5... let the hate mail begin.

-end-
Tags: review the beyond
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