Sunday, May 2, 2010
Beyond the Door II [Shock] - 3/5
Known today on DVD by English International title Shock, this creepy Italian film has a widow with her son and new husband move into a new home only to have her son start acting very peculiar and even a little perverse. It seems that her boy (played by the same boy actor as in Beyond the Door ironically) has become possessed by her dead husband and the plot slowly builds until a twisted climax that seems to come from the mind of Edgar Allan Poe. Perhaps the most frightening and creative scare has the boy run towards his mother only to pop up into the camera frame as a ghostly figure of his dead father. Creepy beyond belief and further proving Mario Bava is a master of Italian horror cinema.
Genre favorites Dario Nicolodi (Dario Argento's lover at the time) and John Steiner give good performances under the sure hand of Mario Bava. To me this has always been Mario Bava's forgotten gem and it seems to be overshadowed by the Beyond the Door II name (However the "Beyond the Door II" poster art is much creeper than the European "Shock" poster art). Would Mario Bava want his film connected with that artless cash-in? Hell no and if he were alive he would probably be happy the film is only available under the title Shock on DVD. Ironically though there also exists a Beyond the Door III and it confuses modern audiences that there doesn't seem to be a Beyond the Door II anymore. Beyond the Door III....now that's a whole different story.
Written By Eric Reifschneider