I was very excited when I heard that BEYOND THE GATES would be showing at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival on Saturday. This had been on my list of movies to see for some time, and it was worth the wait. Everything about this movie interested me, from its premise, to its visually alluring poster artwork. The viewing took place at Videology (one of my favorite bar/micro-cinemas in Brooklyn), which heightened my movie-going experience immensely.
Containing multiple elements of interest, BEYOND THE GATES is nothing short of a good time. This film is a genre-induced experience for horror fans, catering to several styles both retro and modern. Directed by Jackson Stewart, BEYOND THE GATES focuses on John and Gordon (Chase Williamson and Graham Skipper), two brothers who reunite to get rid of the family’s vintage video store after their father’s disappearance. Upon the store’s liquidation, they come across a VCR board game titled Beyond the Gates, which has a direct link to their missing father. Once the game starts, there’s no turning back, leading whoever plays it into a dark series of fatal scenarios.
A lot of elements within BEYOND THE GATES showcase great independent filmmaking-from its captivating storyline, to its talented and recognizable cast (also starring Brea Grant, Matt Mercer and Barbara Crampton), to its gruesome special effects and unique death scenes. Many properties pay homage to a multitude of 80s genres,immersing you headfirst into a pool of nostalgia. The resurgence of 80s-themed films in the independent scene has been refreshing, with BEYOND THE GATES being one that greatly stands out. The overall mood of the film will take you back to the height of supernatural horror, with reminiscent qualities to such films as The Gate and Phantasm.
In its entirety, BEYOND THE GATES is an enjoyable film with unique qualities. With its all-star cast of genre actors, great score, and special effects, BEYOND THE GATES is one that you won’t want to miss. This film was superbly entertaining and a good watch all around, with a little something for everyone, for both new and old horror fans alike.