Movies that inspired me to have so much passion for this horror genre by James DePaolo
The Beyond-Lucio Fulci
I first saw this film as a small lad in an art house theater and it just captured me in its world of horror and fear almost immediately. Now some 25 plus years later, I am here talking about the film that I feel is second only to Jaws as the greatest film ever made in my opinion.
This is quite simply Fulci’s masterpiece, and if you never seen this film before let me explain the plot of this film to you. Liza Merril ( played by the amazing Catriona MacColl) takes possession of a hotel in Louisiana. She has plans to renovate the place. But a series of seemingly accidental deaths may put a stop to her plans. She’s unaware that her hotel has a past. Many years ago, a warlock was lynched in the basement of the hotel. Before dying, he claimed that the hotel was one of the seven doorways to hell and that his death would lead to its opening. So this film is basically us watching his prophecy come to fruition.
This film has such a look and feel to it, and even an amazing music score, that it really adds to lead actress Catriona Macall and what she brings to this film. Fulci’s and his masterful camerawork creates a lot of tension to this film that is more about visual horror, and creates some very intense scenes that really push your nerves and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout like when the scene when Liza goes to investigate the mysterious room 36 in the hotel, such a very eerie scene that is made so much more with the payoff scare it rewards you with. The actors as in all Fulci’s films are not the best at their profession, till the scenes call for them to be scared, they sell that like Fulci is really doing the stuff to them.
What can one really assume or say about Lucio Fulci without sounding like they are repeating something that others have said? The man knows how to create an art with his gory sets and slow at times haunting camera work. And to watch The Beyond tonight was just like watching it all those years ago. Fulci is a legend and so well loved and respected by people like me, for his glorious excesses and his emphasis on making us feel uneasy and really just sit back and enjoy what it is like to be scared and wanting to turn the light on when we go to bed at night in fear of what we just witnessed in a Fulci film.
So if you are new to horror and for that matter Fulci, or better yet Italian Horror, here is the place you want to start. While everyone has a hard on for Argento, I always preferred Fulci. This is a film that is not for a script or Oscar acting, this is about atmospheric and visual horror that you will see what makes Italian such a favorite of a lot of gore fans and reviewers as well.
The Beyond is a must buy, a must see and must watch over and over…
10 out of 10