Beyond the Door II (Schock) (Suspense)

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Movie Info

This effective occult horror film was the final feature directed by the legendary Mario Bava. Daria Nicolodi gives her most convincing performance as Dora, who moves back into her old house with a new husband, Bruno (John Steiner), after spending time in a mental hospital. Strange things start happening, mostly involving her young son Marco (David Colin, Jr.), who seems to be possessed by the ghost of Dora's first husband Carlo, a heroin addict who committed suicide. Dora suffers from vivid hallucinations, and it soon becomes obvious that she is going completely mad, and that Bruno knows more about Carlo's death than he lets on. Bava stages the hallucination scenes with his trademark visual flair, and his son Lamberto Bava's script, co-written with Francesco Barbieri, Paola Brigenti and Dardano Sacchetti, handles Dora's shifting sense of reality with great skill and a subtlety rare for Italian horror films of the period. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi


Critic Reviews for Beyond the Door II (Schock) (Suspense)

All Critics (3) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Beyond the Door II (Schock) (Suspense)

  • Nov 01, 2011
    4.9/10 Mario Bava's final film opens with some intriguing, effective, and admittedly atmospheric shots of basements, beaches, and even sinks. These things might not sound interesting, but the filmmaker is talented, and he adds the extra ingredient. Bava is a master of the macabre; he was born to direct this material, and throughout "Shock", he does his job accordingly, but at that, I still wanted more. It has its share of inspired moments and surrealism, but the great horror director didn't exactly go out with a bang. "Shock" is, at the end of the day, SHOCKingly uninspired, SHOCKingly bizarre, SHOCKingly bearable, and SHOCKingly disappointing all-the-same. As with close to all Italian horror films, the film has several names, but the one I've mentioned is the most commonly used one; and therefore, in this case, the only one that really matters. "Shock" is a traditional haunted house movie; it pulls no punches and at the same time, it fails to provide any surprises. I admit that the film works to a certain extent, and if only at certain times, but there is no way that it works. Some movies are beautiful messes and this simply is not one of them. Sure, the imagery is somewhat worthy of a gander, but none of it is so bizarre that Bava's film would qualify as good. Oh, well. There is an audience and a market for it; some might see it, enjoy it, and I completely respect that. But in the absence of characters, a coherent plot, or depth; a horror movie must scare, shock, and creep the living hell out of you. "Shock" tries, but it never quite emerges a successful film. Your basic set-up includes nothing more than a few notable ingredients; a happy couple (Daria Nicolodi and John Steiner), their young son (David Colin Jr), and the wife's former house, which the family moves back into. The wife has just gotten out of rehabilitation after the apparent suicide of the former husband, and she wants to start life out anew. However, upon arriving, emotional demons from the past haunt her; and new ones along with them. The child begins acting weird; saying strange, disturbing things and looking at his mother in odd ways. The basement of the house is particularly ominous; for some reason, the kid spends quite a bit of his time down there, hiding from "a terrible thing", or so one would call it, without spoiling too much. Does it have ambitions as a haunted house movie, or as a clone of "The Exorcist". I'd have to say that it aspires to be both. It becomes clear, over time, that the kid is most certainly possessed and beyond his control, he does unexplainable things. In one scene, he is able to make a garden rake levitate. Either he's the problem, or the house is yet another dud in the never-ending string of "evil house movies". Bava slits throats. He makes walls bleed. He even blurs the image for a few good minutes to create a nightmarish, hallucinogenic world of fear and anxiety. Essentially, by the end, he's done all he can as a director of the ghoulish, the mad, and the horrific. And still, I'm left with a choice: to care or not to care. The latter sounds pretty good to me. These characters are basically being pelted by special effects; none of this feels authentic or genuinely scary in any way. Of course, atmosphere does not die, and there's plenty of that here, but the fact that it doesn't add up to anything worth remembering certainly distracts from a potential positive review. I wanted to like "Shock", I really did, but aside from another convincing and solid performance from Nicolodi, some suitably dazzling cinematography, and the expected synthesizer music score, the film is short on sense; with not enough surrealism or scares to truly appeal.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 05, 2011
    Scary? Yes in it's own way and throw Mario Bava's imganation and concept. Now Mario Bava is withouta doubt one of my top 5 directors of all time and i have seen just about all of his films and i have yet to hate one. Great acting and dubbing (italian) and some nice effects before CGI and how they make tables and shit move. And a creepy ending but the story can be predictable. For any horror fans go for it. BTW i'm not sure how this passed it's self off as another Beyond the Door film.
    Keiko A Super Reviewer
  • Jul 30, 2011
    Ok, this isn't the best Mario Bava has to offer. I have a tendency to dislike most child actors and that brings down my enjoyment of this, as does the disjointed story itself. This film doesn't really get good until the last half an hour, which is a shame. Unfortunately, the talent of Daria Nicolodi can't save it either. Tune in for the final minutes of the film if anything else.
    Tim S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2011
    Usually listed as Shock since it has nothing to do with Beyond The Door. A little slow...a little disjointed...but fun in a "Bava-rian" sort of way. Interesting to see Argento's muse (and girlfriend) in a Bava film. For fans of the genre and/or the director a must see, for others...probably not.
    Robert C Super Reviewer

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