Beyond, The (1981)
This week’s Fulci film is one of the gore maestro’s most fascinating works. The Beyond is the story of Liza Merril, who upon inheriting an old hotel in Louisiana, becomes witness to a series of supernatural events on the property. While attempting to restore the property in hopes of reopening it, many of the people involved are killed in various gruesome manners. The dead return to exterminate more of the living. Every element of nature and man seems to be out to eradicate life. Liza soon discovers the hotel is actually built on one of the entrances to “the beyond”, or in more common terms, hell.
A true masterpiece, The Beyond spotlights Fulci’s many talents. The directing is outstanding and artistic in every sense of the word. And in my opinion, the gore in this film is truly above and beyond anything either he or anyone else had pioneered before. As permitted by the story line, a majority of the film is a series of nightmares, gruesome deaths, and horrifying apparitions. Fulci’s genius comes straight through to the viewer throughout this movie. Any fan of horror films, not just limited to Fulci followers, needs to see this film.
Though more popularly recognized independently, The Beyond is the second part in an unofficial ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy that also includes City of the Living Dead (1980) and The House by the Cemetery (1981). That being said, this film can still be viewed on its own, but for a complete experience watch the trilogy in order. However you watch it, don’t miss this masterpiece.