Sunday, April 12, 2009

Beyond the Door (1974, Ovidio G. Assonitis/Robert Barrett)

So there's this horror film you may have heard of called The Exorcist. Never heard of it? Oh you have? Well, ruffle my hair and call me Franky. Seriously folks, everyone has heard of The Exorcist. There have been many ripoffs, sequels, prequels and films inspired by The Exorcist. How does Beyond the Door fit in with the Exorcist? Read on.

Juliet Mills plays Jessica Barrett, a mother of two who finds out she is pregnant again, even though she has been taking birth control. What she neglects to inform her record executive husband Robert (Gabriele Lavia) is that the child is not his, but belongs to an ex-boyfriend named Dimitri (Richard Johnson), who just happens to be in cahoots with Satan. Dimitri makes a deal with the devil that he will make sure that the baby is born in exchange for his life to be spared. The baby starts growing at an alarming rate and Dimitri explains to Jessica what is going on. Surprisingly, she takes the news fairly well but soon becomes possessed by the devil herself.

Though the plot is completely different from that of The Exorcist, there are many similarities, which is the film's main flaw. The blatant rip off of many key scenes from the Exorcist is unnecessary and actually a little embarrassing. There are many other things that Jessica could have done to show that she was possessed besides spin her head around and barf pea soup (actually in this film it was more of a darker green mud). Despite this, the film is actually really good and scary. The plot is interesting, Juliet Mills does a great job as the possessed mother of Satan's lovechild and the effects are all well done (well, except for the "animated" puke scene). You could tell that there was also some inspiration from Rosemary's Baby as well, particularly the mother coming to grips with the fact that she has the devil's baby inside her. Overall, I will be nice and judge this movie for what it is and not what it was trying way too hard to be.


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