E tu vivrai nel terrore - L'aldilà (The Beyond) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

E tu vivrai nel terrore - L'aldilà (The Beyond) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2013
"The Beyond" is a slightly plot-less, surrealist, and frightfully gory horror film that remains cult to this day, and for good reason. For a film that doesn't have much plot, and dives between characters without building them up to take the blows, there's a lot that remains memorable and entertaining about this Lucio Fulci classic. It deals with a lot of horror staples and expands on traditionally taboo topics such as extreme gore and killing innocent characters. The characters in this film are pretty forgettable and one dimensional in personality, though Emily the blind girl does stand out, not for her character, but what she means to the overall storyline. Little is explained in the film, as the director wanted, so it's not clear where Emily came from, what her connection is to the hotel, and why she is blind, but there are clues, scattered around the film that vaguely answer some of our questions. That and her dreadfully mangled eyes stand as a symbol for the rest of the film, gracing the movie poster as well as most film stills. The story remains fragmented because Fulci throws in a lot of different horror staples including haunted house, zombies, a doorway to hell, and gore upon gore. The zombies were added because the distributor noticed that there was a zombie trend at the time, similar to nowadays. Raising the dead via curse, and using a doorway to hell under the hotel was an interesting expansion of zombie lore up to that point, and further raises questions such as: Why do only some people get raised in the beginning but at the end all corpses rise? Why are people going blind? Does it have anything to do with the ending, which it seems to emulate? Not everything is cut and dry, and that's something horror films of today can learn from. Exposition is tirelessly thrown in to explain why things are happening nowadays. This film may be vague, but it lineated in plot and carefully imagined its visuals and gore. The gore scenes do stretch way too long in some instances, especially the tarantula scene, and the characters are no good, but everything else made this film a classic cult film.
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2012
I got pretty confused watching this movie, but maybe I should have tried to pay a little more attention or something. It seemed like a mystery, then a satanic movie, and then it turned into a zombie flick. There was a lot of good blood and gore, at least, that was the best part, it was really gross and mesmerizing. If you watch this, or have seen Fulci's other films, you know what I mean.
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2008
Most movie critics are going to tell you that the Beyond has a plot that makes no sense, that the acting is hit-and-miss, that this is wrong, and this and that. What they might not tell you is that the Beyond is one of the most effectively atmospheric horror movies ever made. The truly surreal nightmarish touch from good ol Fulci elevates this into another level. Many horror movies try way too hard these days, they should just come back to this one and study it again and again. This is how you do it, real horror doesn't need explanations, or even motivations. Just a strong sense of the innevitable, which is what The Beyond has.
Super Reviewer
½ May 19, 2007
Louisiana, 1927. A group of men storm a local hotel on the edge of a swamp and burst into a painters named Schweick (Antoine Saint-John) room, who they believe is a warlock. They drag him down to the basement, Schweick warns them that the hotel was built over one of the seven gateways to hell, and that only he can protect them from it. They ignore him and brutally beat him and crucify him. Skip forward to 1981. New Yorker Lisa Merril (Katherine MacColl) inherits the now abandoned and run down hotel, and two creepy helpers, the housekeeper Martha (Veronica Lazar) and a general handyman Arthur (Gianpaolo Saccarola). She decides to repair the place and re open it. Unfortunately thing start to turn sour almost immediately, one of the painters falls off his second floor scaffolding. The local plumber Joe (Giovanni De Nava) finds Schweick's rotted corpse behind a wall in the flooded basement, Schweick then gouges Joe's eye out. And Lisa is warned by a blind woman Emily (Sarah Keller) that she is in great danger and must leave. Dr. John McCabe (David Warbeck) and his assistant Dr. Harris (Al Cliver) examine both Joe's and Schweick's corpses. Interested McCabe becomes involved with Lisa and they both start to investigate the strange events. Soon they realize the gateway to hell under the hotel has been opened and zombies are appearing everywhere. Thats the best I can sum the plot up, what plot there is in this film anyway.

Directed by Lucio Fulci, this was the third of his zombie quartet, starting with Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979), City of the Living Dead (1980), this and finally the House by the Cemetery (1981). I think their all a bit overrated but decent solid horror all the same. Acting is OK and Katherine MacColl makes an attractive damsel in distress. David Warbeck is OK as the hero, and I liked Jill (Maria Pia Marsala) as the freaky possessed kid. The rest of the cast are just there to be killed in various gore soaked ways, nothing more. Antoine Saint-John in the opening sequence is chain whipped, crucified and has acid thrown into his face all in graphic detail. People have their eyes poked out, more faces are melted with acid, a great scene where a woman has her throat torn out and her ear bitten off by her dog, loads of rotting zombies appear, guys are impaled with shards of glass and little girl Jill has the top of her head blown off. Fulci and special effects man Giannetteo De Rossi don't shy away from the red stuff, thats for sure. For the most part the make up effects are impressive, the best being when Jill gets shot in the face, the worst is when Martin Avery (Michele Mirabella) is attacked by spiders. Not only do the spiders make a squeaking noise for some reason, but the fake spiders look awful as does the fake head which they bite and pull apart, Martin's tongue being bitten looks good though, just a shame about the rest of the scene. It has nice clear, crisp and colourful photography by Sergio Salvati. It's main draw back is the script credited to Fulci, Dardando Sacchetti and Giorgio Mariuzzo, it's bizarre, surreal and doesn't really make any sense which is a problem. There are also big lapses in logic, like the end where Warbeck discovers the only way to kill the zombies is to shoot them in the head, but he still insists on shooting them anywhere but their heads. Overall I liked it, it's stylishly made and features plenty of blood, gore and violence. I just wish the story was a little clearer and things didn't just happen for no apparent reason. Certainly worth watching if your a gorehound or horror fan. Make sure you watch one of the various uncut widescreen DVD's that are available, the only way to appreciate it properly in my opinion. Recommended.
Ariuza k.
Super Reviewer
½ January 26, 2011
L'Aldila/The Beyond is the film that brought interest in the cinema of Lucio Fulci. I became a big fan of his work after watching this movie. Have seen a good portion of his films since. And this film is also the reason us fans dub him as the "Italian Miyazaki".

L'Aldila was part of a trilogy called the 7 gates trilogy. This started with The Gates of Hell(1980), continued with this film, and was to end with The Beyond 2. Unfortunately, this trilogy would never be completed. This is a shame because I would have loved to see that film to know if it was good as the first two movies of the trilogy. The original intentions of The Beyond are different from the final results. This was because of budget and time restrictions. I wonder how much better the pic might have been with a modest budget and a little more time.

The make up effects is one of the film's best features. Despite the low budget, Giannetto De Rossi's effects are spectacular. The effects are done with flair and pizazz. Giannetto De Rossi did his best when working with Fulci. The effects for the death of Joe the Plumber are very good. The best effects in the film is the scene involving the young girl near the end.

The cinematography is spliced with atmosphere and style. Sergio Salvalti contributes to the film's gothic flavour. The cinematography contains a dreamish flow that makes the film beautiful. The score is one of my favourites for a horror film. The score fits perfectly with the scenes in the film. As good as anything done for Argento by Goblin.

The Beyond is an 'Absolute Film' where image and sound are the most important part of a film. On the making of this, Fulci once said, ("My idea was to make an absolute film, with all the horrors of the world. Its a plotless film, there's no logic to it, just a succession of images"). This is something that people who hate the film don't and will never understand. Many people do not like this because of its nonlinear structure. He also said, "In Italy we make films based on pure themes, without a plot and The Beyond like Inferno refuses conventions...people who blame the The Beyond for its lack of story don't understand that it's a film of images, which must be received without any reflection". Receiving a movie like this without any reflection is a hard thing for many film goers to do.

The works of Antonin Artoud and H.P Lovecraft play a major influence on The Beyond. Fulci was inspired by this controversial French artist. The ideas of Artoud are present in most of Fulci's work. Schweick the painter bears a little resemblence to Antonin Artoud. Artoud was the founder of "The Theater of Cruelty" which talked to "Restore to the theater a passionate and convulsive conception of life, and it is in this sense of violent rigor and extreme condensation of scenic elements that the cruelty on which it is based on must be understood". This idea can be applied to The Cinema and this film.

The comment "Violence is Italian Art" by Fulci is relative to the movie and the history of Italian art. Its one of the few films where atmosphere and gore mix well together. Has good moments of spirital horror. The atmosphere is eerie and terrifying. The gory set pieces are satisfying. The surreal atmosphere and bloody imagery is what makes the film a classic.

The Beyond will never be a mainstream favourite because its not for everyone. The themes are well written by Dardano Sacchetti. Catriona MacColl and David Warbeck are very good in the roles of the heroine and hero. Veronica Lazar from Inferno(1980) is sinister as Martha. The director did a great job with the little resources that he had to work with.

The ending will haunt your dreams for days to come even though we can't tell if it is a happy ending or not.....

I think by the end is that it's "Dreamlike" and wired as hell but still it's his best.
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2007
A grotesque and intense piece of celluloid from one of the kings of Italian gore. The plot outline itself doesn't really make a whole lot of sense and the acting is only so-so, but it doesn't really matter. Atmosphere, effects and presentation are all in fine Fulci form.
Super Reviewer
December 4, 2010
I finally have been initiated into the gruesome world of Lucio Fulci. This film was by turns a little scary, VERY disgusting and eventually laughable. The murders were so over the top (crucifixion, acid to the face, tarantulas who eat people!?!) and so obviously fake that the creepiness was finally overridden by snickering. There were lots of other problems, but my ultimate problem with the film is that if you're going to make a movie about gateways to hell, there should be a little more hell in it. But for what it is, I guess it wasn't bad. OH, and an open note to Mr. Fulci...PEOPLE DON'T HAVE BASEMENTS IN NEW ORLEANS! New Orleans is below sea level. They don't even bury their dead underground!
Super Reviewer
November 13, 2010
Lucio Fulci's atmospheric Horror masterpiece remains one of the best films that the Godfather Of Gore has directed. The Beyond is Fulci at his peak and delivers an unrelenting assault of blood and gore. The Beyond features some of the best sequences of gore of the Maestro's career. The story as well is very terrifying and is unique. Of all the Lucio Fulci films that I have seen, The Beyond has the best, most detailed story that Fulci has ever written. Many people have said that they were confused by the story, but it's the type of story that you need to pay close attention to get. The reason the film can be a bit crazy and confusing is because The Beyond has a surrealistic nightmarish story. The film does tend to go off the deep end at times, but one thing to keep in mind is that this is a work by Lucio Fulci, everything he has previously done has been over the top. The Beyond is one of his most solid, most confident films. The thing that makes this film so haunting and terrifying is the surrealistic nature and essence of the film. The Beyond is the culmination of Fulci's talents, this is his most confident work. He's made another horror film after this, The House By The Cemetery, but that film doesn't come close to this terrifying masterwork of surrealistic Horror. This film features the best gore effects of Fulci's great career and the setting for the story is terrific. A haunted Hotel in Louisiana is the seventh gateway to hell? how inventive can you get? Don't believe the critics, all of them don't get a superb work of horror like this. They just don't see what is so great about it, I can tell you that this is one terrific and well told horror film with great gore effects that all horror fans should watch. Fulci masterfully combines many previous horror themes to create something very interesting and terrifying on screen. One of the best Italian Horror films.
Super Reviewer
½ January 28, 2010
I think it's actually Lucio Fulci's best shot film. However, it is still completely crazy and ridiculous like all of his other films. The eye gouging trademark is in there, bizarre spider killings and a zombie killing rampage at the end to ensure you that you're getting the full grind-house experience. I think most of Fulci's work is, to me, the ultimate b-movie collection. None of his movies make sense and they always have pointless moments of violence and nudity. This particular film is almost as odd as Zombi 2, if not more so.
Super Reviewer
½ November 9, 2007
This is how horror movies should be!
Super Reviewer
February 29, 2008
another Tarantino pick, the cinematography & atmosphere are great; some parts are really bad; the whole thing is hypnotically disgusting
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2007
Some Minor Spoilers Here*******************************************

The film starts in Louisiana, 1927, where a mob is gathered outside the Seven Doors Hotel decided to lynch an artist named Schwick (Antoine Saint-John), as he is accused of practicing witchcraft. After the artists' murder, one of the Seven Doors of Hell is opened, but the townspeople seal the basement hoping to keep the evil trapped inside. Now, 54 years later, a young woman named Liza (Catriona MacColl) inherits the Seven Doors hotel, and soon has plans to reopen it, but the renovation works reactivate the portal to Hell and soon the forces of evil take control of the Hotel.

Based on a story by the famed Italian writer Dardano Sacchetti (who wrote scripts for basically every important horror filmmaker in Italy during the 70s and 80s) and adapted to the screen by Fulci and Sacchetti himself, "The Beyond" is very surreal story of horror that moves further into the oneiric realm as the story unfolds. It's a highly ambitious and risky idea, but Fulci and Sacchetti craft a powerful story that, while probably doesn't make sense at first sight (at least not in the usual way), truly transmits the feeling of being a nightmare put on film.

While Fulci moves to metaphysical concepts thematically, stylistically he keeps the same care for detailed gore he showed before in his often artistic scenes of violence. Despite the obvious low-budget he had, Fulci manages to come up with a very good cinematography (by Sergio Salvati) and excellent music (by Fabio Frizzi), that truly reflects the surrealism in the plot and increases the feeling of being watching a dream. It's also worth to point out the work of the excellent make-up artist Giannetto De Rossi, whose inventive and detailed creations bring to life the very vivid horrors in Fulci's mind.

While the acting is not really the best in horror genre, it must be said that the awful dubbing done in the film makes it look a lot worse than what it is. However, it also must be said that Catriona MacColl delivers a fairly good performance as our main character, and really keeps the film on float despite the mess the dubbing is. Ciniza Monreale does a good job too, specially as her character is a bit more complicated as she is blind. While the dubbing does damage their performances, it's safe to say that both are really good in their characters. David Warbeck and Al Cliver each do a good job as well and make their characters likable

"The Beyond" received an unfairly cold reception when it was released in the U.S., mainly because in the film arrived with an awful dubbing, a new musical score and overall heavily censored (the version named "Seven Doors of Death"), resulting in a much different movie than what Fulci intended. While it is true that the film is not perfect, it's a terrific horror movie that attempts to go beyond the typical clichés of the genre and succeeds. Many have criticized the plot holes in the story, however I feel that some of those plot holes were often created intentionally with the purpose of showing the logic bended by supernatural forces.

Certainly this film is not for everyone, as the extremely gory sequences and the strange and atypical way the plot is structured may turn off some viewers. However, "The Beyond" is a terrific masterpiece of horror that fans of the genre should not miss. It's really a beautiful, haunting and influential story of atmospheric horror.
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2007
A masterpiece in Italian Horror. Fulci's greatest achivement. It's a weird story about one of the seven doors of Hell being opened in the basement of an old hotel in Louisiana. Scary things start happening once the gate is open: the dead start walking the earth, animals and insects attack humans, ghosts appear, and ordinary people go insane. There's a great many setpiece scenes of horror.

The spider attack scene is hilarious, because of how fake they look. But this movie is as gorey as heck. There are some freaky ghost scenes too with a blind woman and her dog living in an old house. The scenes with the zombie attack in the hospital are great zombie action.

The new hotel owner (Catriona MacColl) and her Doctor friend (David Warbeck) fight the undead and attempt to close down the evil portal, but it might be too late. I totally love the spooked out atmosphere of this movie, and remember watching it twice in a row the first time I got it.
Super Reviewer
June 18, 2007
really twisted and over the top gory, still pretty earie and atmospherical.
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2006
To quote Homer Simpson -- "Brilliant! ... I have absolutely no idea what's going on."
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
½ July 24, 2011

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 his time to shine; he was creative without-a-doubt, but sometimes, his typical style (which included surrealism, plots that refused to conform to traditional narrative structures, and complex make-up/gore effects) worked; while other times it didn't. Some of you might not like any of Fulci's films at all; which is perfectly understandable, since most of his films qualify for trash - if not entertaining and dream-like trash. Either way, there's no denying that there are few films out there like the ones I have listed; especially this one, which has quite the cult following. The critics are divided, some hate it, some love it; I embraced it with an open mind and found myself happily lost in its depths. It's absurd, disturbing, bloody, silly, but surprisingly, it works.

Fulci wanted to make a film that was pure imagery and well, that's the movie that he's made. He attempts to string together events with what many - including myself - would perceive as a sorry excuse for a plot. Of course, it's possible to ignore such flaws as the lack of deep characters or storytelling, especially when so much spectacle is on display. It takes a certain person and a certain state-of-mind to watch "The Beyond" and truly appreciate it; and I find it highly respectable if one can see why I - along with a good number of other devoted horror fanatics - obsess over this film as if it were an object of cultish worship. In my honest opinion, it's that good.

Let's get this over with. We open on a 1927 Louisiana village; where the Seven Doors Hotel lies. There has been talk of disturbances and diabolical activity going on within the hotel walls; and some angry villagers are ready to put an end to such suspicions. The target of their primitive rage is an artist named Schweick, whom they believe to be a warlock, if only for his bizarre paintings that he claims to be portraits of Hell's landscape. In what makes up the film's entire opening sequence - which is very retro in style and surreal in atmosphere indeed - Schweick is whipped by chains, crucified on the basement wall, and doused with hot, boiling quicklime. He dies a slow, painful death; and his corpse is left to rot.

Several decades later, the same hotel has been inherited by a woman named Liza (Catriona MacColl). She begins to repair and renovate the building, although in doing so, she disturbs the supernatural forces that haunt it; the ghost of Schweick included, who has returned from the dead as an indestructible corpse after one of the seven doors of death - which was in the basement where the has-been artist was murdered - is opened yet again by an unsuspecting plumber named Joe.

And when the doors are opened, the dead shall walk the earth. But Fulci makes a difficult decision; he sacrifices a lot of screen-time for his undead buddies, and instead dedicates most of the film to the events leading up to the grand finale in which they all rise and have a very grand feast indeed. The film doesn't seem to be a traditional zombie flick in itself, but more-so a film that tackles all things evil, as a whole. As someone who has seen many of Fulci's films - both good and bad - I appreciated this approach, and while the filmmaker had something slightly different in mind when he wrote the original script, I'm very pleased with the film he has made; and so are many of his die-hard fans.

Liza sees a creepy blind ghost girl and her helper dog. People start to die in unexpected places, at times equally as unpredictable. It's all connected; unlike the movie itself, which defies the concoction of events and scenarios as if such a concept was a cliché. We all know it's not; but this is an artist trying to show us something new, and he goes against the rules of horror movies without recreating them. Those who go to horror films to have a good time, get inspired, be entertained, and absorb talent in the way of surrealism will walk out of "The Beyond" with smiles on their faces. Those who look at it in a more logical way will look at it as a film that is literally nothing more than bunch of random, but admirably repulsive and gory set-pieces put together in a film that just doesn't work. I respect these people, and I openly accept that this film is not for everyone, but I can't deny that I loved every minute of it. It contains some of the most highly respected and memorable scenes of horror in the history of the genre; and all who like horror movies should see it just to see it. There will never be another quite like it.

Library-browsers fall from ladders and get eaten by conveniently-placed spiders. Little girls are possessed by evil spirits. Women are given acid baths. "The Beyond" isn't a film that one can merely make sense of. It doesn't care much about whether you like it or not, but that's what I loved about it. It's a showcase of what Fulci liked to do; he was very much capable of grossing you out, but there was artistry to his craft, and even though it is very much interested in its gore and its kill scenes over its plot and its characters, this is what I would call art. Nobody makes classic gore scenes quite like Fulci did; and since it was his passion to disgust through hidden beauty (at times), I have to respect his intent. This was his best film. And it's also one of the best horror films that I've seen. The feeling of experiencing it is one that is simply put, unforgettable. It takes us to a place beyond where most films - horror or not - will ever be capable of taking us. Lucio Fulci has made a one-of-a-kind feature. Watch it uncut; watch it late at night. I don't really care. Just see it to say that you saw it and then make your verdict; whether "The Beyond" rises from the dead, or just stays there in the coffin, is entirely up to you. But...uninspired acting, dialogue, and plotting aside; it does exactly what it wants to do, but in particularly Fulci-esque fashion. How else could I have possibly wanted it?
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2013
Possibly my favourite out of the Gates of Hell trilogy. Set in rural Louisiana, a woman who inherits a hotel that contains the gates of hell, as she renovates it, the gates are once again open, all hell breaks loose. Like many of Fulci's films, the plot did not make much sense, but it's one of the most violent films ever made. The make up and special effects were the best I've seen, the acid pouring scene for example, was the most disturbing thing I've ever seen. I love the "eyeball shocks" in the film, Fulci has this amazing fascination with human eyeballs, and he effective conveyed his fetish in this film. It's a great horror film that shocks and let you never forget.
Francisco G.
Super Reviewer
May 17, 2012
Lucio Fulci, a master of suspense, atmosphere and gore has made in The Beyond probably his most effective work of his career. It still features a very frail plot with a lot of holes and complete nonsense sequences in some scenes (which kinda stayed a "trademark" on Fulci's career) but the essential is all here:
Gore and horrific disgusting scenes that last forever, tension, scares, fantastic atmosphere, brilliant camera work and great settings. Also props for the soundtrack that sometimes fits the mood perfectly but other... well, funky tunes on a gore scenes, go figure that out. In the end, it's an actual great balance between beauty and downright hellish visions.
Super Reviewer
½ December 31, 2007
The plot and characters are barely there (I'm not sure wether that's a surprise or not, probably not) and the film overall lacks suspense, tension and is at times a little boring, BUT, OH, MY GOD, THE GORE IS FANTASTIC; everyone gets their eyes torn out, everybody is ripped apart, blood sprouting from everywhere. So, yeah, the gore and practical effects alone are worth the watch, not to mention the unintentional laughs (movie's pretty cheesy).
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