Wicked Wednesday: Beyond the Gates of Hell (2022)

My reluctance to watch any movie longer than 90 minutes really bites me in the ass sometimes.

This week, I really wanted to watch whatever jumped out to me that was short and free for streaming. Some of these new indie movies really have fantastic poster art. The work on Beyond the Gates of Hell‘s poster really drew me in.

I should have guessed by the title, but it turns out this 40-minute film is an attempted homage to the great Lucio Fulci and his Gates of Hell trilogy. Though, honestly, I’m not sure Fulci would be super flattered by this.

A couple arrives at their new home, and the real estate agent tries buying it back from them. They reject her offer, despite learning that it has been the site of several murders in their basement.

The guy isn’t bothered. The woman is. The woman wants the house blessed. Her daughter gets killed in the basement. The man meets a weird woman while in the shower. Some lady tells them that their house is built on one of the seven gates of hell.

It’s just a series of quick events that really aren’t well put together at all. Honestly, if you aren’t familiar with Fulci’s films, you’ll be doing a lot of guessing. (I mean, you’ll be doing that anyway because nothing is ever fully explained.)

The runtime is so short. Even bringing it to a full hour would have been helpful.

This just didn’t work for me. It’s one of those films with the faux film grain effect to make it look older. But it’s obviously set in the modern day and even references 1981 as being decades before. This tactic is used by filmmakers to give their movie any semblance of an aesthetic. It just doesn’t work for me anymore. It makes me feel cynical. I’ve over this attempt at nostalgia. I can’t like something just because it’s based on something I love!

It’s clear that this movie was made on a budget. I get that a lack of funding can really hamper you sometimes. But having seen what other, more imaginative kids have done in their own homes, I don’t buy this as an excuse anymore. You can create movie magic with nothing. The kills are so fast they’re literally just quick cuts. What’s the point in emulating a Fulci film if there is no blood?

The Beyond is a fantastic and mystical horror movie. Beyond the Gates of Hell is just a run-of-the-mill, forgettable blip. Watching this made me feel like a grouch. Sorry to anyone involved. I’m sure you had a good time! Almost every other review is much more pleased than I am. Perhaps I just need a drink…


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