‘Beyond The Gates‘ is the first feature film from Jackson Stewart, an indie horror movie I’ve been super excited about for a long time. Last night I dropped the seven bones on Google Play to check it out. What originally really excited me about this movie was it’s central focus on a sinister VHS board game from the 1980’s called…you guessed it “Beyond The Gates”. These creepy VHS games were pretty popular back when I was a kid, so of course I automatically dug the nostalgia factor that this one had to offer from the start. I also was quite happy to see Graham Skipper (The Mind’s Eye, Almost Human) as one of the leads and also horror icon Barbara Crampton (From Beyond, Re-animator, We Are Still Here) as the creepy host of the VHS board game.
This one has a lot going for it from the get go and it’s quite an intriguing little mystery. Long story short, two brothers come to find that their alcoholic father has gone missing leaving behind his business, an old video store that he started back in 1992. Ah yes, the local video store, what great memories I have of those. Well as the brothers meet up to box up video tapes, close shop and reminisce about their childhood they discover the old VHS board game in the office.
Things get stranger when they realize the VHS tape from the game was the last thing their father had watched before he disappeared. This begins a series of bizarre events as the brothers and one of their girlfriends decide to give the game a try. I don’t want to give away any clues of the story, it’s a pretty engaging movie and a great dramatic story of two brothers finding peace with each other and their past. There’s a lot in this movie that I can relate to personally and that honestly is the strongest aspect of ‘Beyond The Gates’. It’s got a lot of heart.
I did like this movie, however it could have been one of the best horror movies of 2016 if perhaps it had a bit more of an imagination with the horror side of things and hey maybe a bigger budget? The horror aspect of this one kinda let me down. There were a couple of cool scenes that seemed like they were warming us up for a knock out finale. Sadly that knock out never really arrived, in fact the finale seemed like something that we might have expected to see around the half way mark. The movie had a 3 million dollar budget and personally I think they could have stretched it a bit and really given us a more surreal adventurous final act. I’ve seen movies with smaller budgets go a lot further than this. To me it seemed like a good movie that maybe ran out of money near the end of filming. The potential for some truly crazy stylized 80’s horror was definitely there but it lacked the imagination to give fright fans a truly memorable experience.
Overall I liked this movie more as drama and if I’d have known ahead of time that that’s more of what this was I’d be a little less critical of the horror aspect of things. That being said I still give it a thumbs up for a sweet yet creepy story that knows how to pull at your heartstrings. Check it out!
I love From Beyond! It’s one of Stuart “Reanimator” Gordon’s best movies in my opinion. It’s super fun tale based on the classic H.P. Lovecraft story of the same name. There’s a ton of awesome special fx and monsters a’ plenty in this weird ass horror classic. Well this kick ass movie also has one heckuva cover to go along with it showcasing the villain of the movie as he’s transforming into on of the best 80’s movie monsters of all time. The premise of the story is genius as we explore the mysterious pineal gland and quickly discover that just because you see empty space all around you it doesn’t mean it’s not filled with some truly nasty entities. I’ve always loved this cover, it’s a perfect representation of what made the vhs box art of the 1980’s so damn memorable! I think it may be time to dust off my copy of this one!
We’ve got a ton of movies these days that are trying to be a throwback to the vintage horror classics of the 70’s & 80’s but only a select few of them succeed on the level they attempt. ‘We Are Still Here’ not only succeeds it actually made me forget I was watching a movie released in 2015. What we’ve got here is on helluva ghost story with it’s lead being Scream Queen Barbara Crampton of Re-Animator, From Beyond, Chopping Mall fame which further legitimizes this flick’s already convincing retro time period.
It’s the 1970’s, after the death of their son Bobby in a car accident, Anne (Crampton) and her husband Paul (Andrew Sensenig) have decided to relocate to a new home way out in the boonies of New England. There they hope to find some peace in the midst of their mourning. Paul hopes this move will help his wife snap out the heavy depression she’s recently been dealing with and perhaps will help her begin to move on. No such luck, upon their arrival Anne is convinced her son’s ghost has now manifested in their new home.
As the ghostly events become more intense she decides to ask for help from her close friend May (Lisa Marie), a supposed psychic, and her pot smokin’ free spirit husband Jacob (Larry Fessenden) to try and make contact with Bobby. Shit gets even more freaky, as the weird townsfolk begin revealing the house they’ve moved into’s dark past that’s somehow legendary among them.
It’s a simple premise and just when you think you’re gonna get your average ghost about the house flick you’re knee deep in serious gore. That’s an interesting aspect of this movie, these ghosts will fuck you up big time if you’re nosing around where you’re not wanted. Director Ted Geohegan brings the splatter galore in this grisly tale and does it all old school style via some impressive practical effects.
The Ghosts too are pretty cool looking and the movies got a neat little mystery going on as well. It’s a short sweet little haunting movie that stands in a category all it’s own. You won’t want to miss the final conflict either as things get all ‘Evil Dead II’ pretty quick! Also this appears to be Ted’s first time directing and it’s a great debut. Cool to see he was born right here in Oregon a few miles from where I live! Check this flick out on Amazon, Itunes, Google play etc etc. It’s pretty awesome!
This is by far the best season to watch horror movies! So what are you gonna do with yourself before halloween? Spend your money sitting at a bar? Go to bed early? Watch reruns of Small Wonder ’til 2am? Smash some neighborhood pumpkins? No way! It’s Horror Movie Night time!! Pick out a few movies make some good food, grab some beer, invite some friends over and watch a few awesome movies in honor of this splendid holiday! But the real question is what to watch right? Well ponder this no longer because here are five movies that will be sure to please the even the most finnicky of your friends!
1. Trick ‘r Treat.
You read of the review months ago right here and luckily this one got released before halloween. This is probably your best bet for Horror Night since it obviously takes place on halloween and is one of the coolest halloween themed movies I have ever seen. It has a cool old school 80’s vibe, no CG and has four awesome interwoven tales of the macabre! Produced by X-men’s own Bryan singer to boot!