Review: Beyond The Door


Assonitis and Barrett joint direct which is in almost every aspect a shameless copy of 'The Exorcist'. As you will find out from reading almost any source of material about this movie, almost all of it's shock scenes are directly stolen from the movie, with only a slight change in the story.

In 'Beyond the Door' the devil wants a son, and has chosen Jessica to be the host. Thankfully, unlike 'The Exorcist' Jessica isn't a little girl, but a woman in her thirtys. The baby begins to grow rapidly, and with some severe mood changes in Jessica's normally placid personality, she knows something is wrong. To ensure the safe keeping of the child, Lucifer, after giving a short introduction to us at the beginning of the movie, sends acolyte Dimitri to ensure its safe birth, whereas Jessica's current boyfriend and her doctor try to figure out what was happening to her.

So no exorcist then? Well you do think he might turn up any minute...

The plot, as bizarre as it sounds, actually keeps the movie together. Despite the lack of originality in it's content, the movie does well to hold up on it's own, and before long you begin to see the movie for it's own merits. As the movie is an Italian one we are treated to all the clichéd content we all know and love. A dodgy, repetitive synthesiser score generates a little tension every now and then. The acting is not terrible, although, as with most Italian movies, the characters do a fair bit of intense staring. Because of the time period in which the movie was made the fashion is as entertaining as any of the 'shock' sequences, boyfriend Robert has the gayest moustache I have ever seen and Dimitri, well he looks like he might have come to molest the child rather than deliver it. The children too in the movie stand out. Instead of being sweet children they consistently employ the use of profanity to describe almost any situation. With all the above considered it is not surprising many people found this movie to be a little below expectation. For us though, more seasoned viewers, it was spot on.

One thing though, why did it take the doctor so long to figure out what was going on? Had he not seen 'The Exorcist'? Jessica's symptoms were identical! A textbook case for possession.

Indeed, the shock sequences in the movie are a complete rip off and unforgivable It's hard to express just how much actually. We get to see a bit of vomiting, a bit of head turning and a lot of dodgy voices and growling. The make-up is pretty much the same too, although she never gets as much of the chapped lips treatment as Regan did. This though is also worthy of some merit. Because of the budget of the movie some of these sequences are actually quite creepy in their own right as the cheap nature of the effects only serve to make them seem a little more real, in a way. However, for the same reason, some of it just comes across a little hammy. For example the dubbed 'devil voice' sometimes peters out, cutting the effects a little short, leaving the devil speaking in less impacting a croaky man's voice. In another scene, one which shows a lot of possessed dolls, begins pretty creepy until some fake walking effects kill the whole atmosphere.

Overall, if you can look past the plagiarised set pieces, which I admit takes some work, you will find a decent enough movie, which is chilling in some places and satisfyingly dodgy in others. Naturally, as with most of these movies, if you are looking for something to equal the exorcist, then don't even bother, but if you enjoy the feel and clichés of 1970s Italian cinema then you will most definitely enjoy this movie.

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