Sunday, May 2, 2010

Beyond the Door II [Shock] - 3/5

Do not let the title fool you. Despite being titled Beyond the Door II for the U.S. market this is not a sequel to that shameless Exorcist rip-off Beyond the Door. Sadly that title overshadows the fact that this is actually a decent horror film and that it is legendary director Mario Bava's final feature film before his death.

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 that's a whole different story.

Written By Eric Reifschneider

No comments:

Post a Comment