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Monday, January 6, 2020

Beyond Darkness (1990)




Funny story about this movie. I was looking for Slasher movies and thought I was buying Beyond the Darkness, a Joe D’Amato flick. Turns out I got this haunted/possessed house flick instead. It is also an Italian production that was clearly “inspired” by movies like Poltergeist and the Exorcist. You have to love Italian cinema or at least tolerate it.

We get an opening with a priest going to give last rites to a woman on death row. She isn’t interested in that and instead taunts him and gives him her “bible” which I thought was satanic, but it turns out she was a witch and it is a manual to contact her demonic master. Later we find out he has become a drunk, but reforms in time to help our main characters out. The main story has a different reverend moving into a house with his family. What he doesn’t know is that the church has sent him there knowing it was possessed and that he needs the threat to his kids to defeat the evil. Dick move guys…

I could keep going but this isn’t a movie that you want to think too hard about. There are huge gaping plot holes like the response to the first attack when the demonic hooded figures lay siege to the family. The next day our main character, Peter, is talking to his boss at the church and finds out that he was setup and his family put in danger on purpose. He immediately runs out of the meeting and calls his wife… who he left at the house with his kids. This is after they have already been attacked!

I’ll give you one more for fun. In that same meeting where he finds out the church believes the house is possessed; he clearly states that he doesn’t believe in the sort of thing. Only the night before the second he saw one of the hooded figures he grabbed his cross and started exorcising them. Wait what? Like I said you can’t think too hard when watching Beyond Darkness.

The million-dollar question is did I enjoy the movie? Kind of would be the closest to an answer that I could give. This is your typical Italian genre flick and is mostly style over substance. You have some fun music, the effects work is pretty cool, the acting is passable, and there is a cheesy vibe that I kind of liked. That last one is probably more of a nostalgic response since I watched a lot of these crappy flicks in the days of VHS. There is an added bonus of catching the same child actor who played the young son in Troll 2 as the young son of the family put in danger. Before you ask. Yes, he is just as bad in this movie.

There are a lot more things that I could say about Beyond Darkness. They clearly were grabbing from just about any other horror flick for ideas. The evil ends up very Pinhead looking and drops some similar dialogue. You get an Exorcist bit as they are trying to cast the demon out of his son. Of course, they never established that he was possessed and instead kept saying his soul was trapped in Hell. I guess kicking out the squatter fixes that? So many dumb things going on here that I can’t recommend this one. Sure, I liked it but I’m probably permanently damaged from having watched hours of this crap when I was younger.


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer



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