E tu vivrai nel terrore - L'aldilà (The Beyond) (1981)
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as Lisa Meddle
Critic Reviews for E tu vivrai nel terrore - L'aldilà (The Beyond)
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Senseless and plotless horror pic, that's filled with a series of tableaux gimmicky sadistic gore.
Audience Reviews for E tu vivrai nel terrore - L'aldilà (The Beyond)
"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.
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.
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.
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