Movie Review: THE BEYOND (1981)


“The Beyond is a 1981 Italian horror film directed by Lucio Fulci.  The second film in Fulci’s unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy, The Beyond has gained a cult following over the decades in part because of the film’s gore-filled murder sequences, which had been heavily censored when the film was originally release in the United States in 1983.

The Beyond tells the story of a young woman who inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where after a series of supernatural ‘accidents’, she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell.”

Let me start off by saying I am typically not a fan of foreign horror movies. There is something about them that seems to immediately turn me off – I don’t know if it’s because of their desire to show as much gore as humanely possible or if it’s the story – but whatever it may be, I rarely ever watch them.  Once in a blue moon I will make an exception (Battle Royale, The Babadook) and sit through one – so when the opportunity was presented to me to see THE BEYOND I figured I would give it a shot.

THE BEYOND was playing at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in NYC for the re-release of the DVD and my boyfriend’s friend was able to score us tickets.  I was immediately excited even though I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  The only information I knew about this movie was that it was Italian,  it’s gory, and it doesn’t make sense.  I had a feeling that I was either going to love this movie or absolutely hate it, either way, I was excited.

This movie did not disappoint at all!  I literally loved every second of it and it even made me jump a few times (I hate admitting that).  What also made the film enjoyable was that it was shown on 35mm and it was really cool to see it presented that way.  The whole atmosphere and experience made the movie even better for me.

I don’t know much about Fulci’s directing and/or movies but I did notice he seems to like to focus on a few things continuously – for example, it seems as though he loves when people’s eyeballs get detached from their head.  There had to be between 3-5 eyeball scenes in the movie and granted they were funny they still left you feeling a tad bit uncomfortable because seriously, who likes when eyeballs are squeezed or popped or plucked out of our head?

I will say after watching THE BEYOND I am definitely interested in watching some more of his films.  Here is what I liked and didn’t like about the movie:


– Epic death scenes – I don’t want to give too much away but one involves spiders.

–  Vintage feel – there was something old school that I liked about it that I haven’t seen in today’s modern horror movies.

– For a movie that had little to no budget they did a pretty fucking epic job with special effects and makeup.

– Overexaggeration of everything!  Screaming, acting, running into someone’s arms, etc.  It was over the top but it made the movie special.

– The movie is based around a Louisiana hotel.  I love Louisiana.  Win for me!


– The acting was terrible.  However, it was so terrible that it was funny – I could sit through this again and not be to bent out of shape over the acting.

– The story.  I have no idea what really happened in this movie but I’m okay with that.  I don’t even think it bothers me that much.

Honestly, I can’t really give this movie to many cons because it’s just so epic.  I really believe that everyone who loves horror should see and experience this movie.  There was one scene in the movie that absolutely blew me away.  As the spirits were coming back to the hotel the camera steps outside and gives us a shot of the hotel… then slowly you see shadowed figures moving in front of all the windows and fog drifting in from the sides and it’s just absolutely beautiful and chilling.  My description doesn’t do it justice and I suggest seeing it for yourself.  Here are my final thoughts on THE BEYOND:

Concept/Story: 1/2
Style/Effect: 2/2
Atmosphere: 2/2
Scares: 1/2
Rewatchability: 2/2
TOTAL: 8/10

Now go watch this movie you crazy kids!!!

Shannon McGrew
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