From Beyond, 1986 by Stuart Gordon

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Holy mother of god is From Beyond weird. I liked Re-Animator so much, and have heard so many things about this movie over the years that I figured I had to check it out. And while I’m certainly glad I did, I’m curious how this movie achieved the staying power that it has.

Is it the creature effects? Because they’re cool, and actually kind of hard to look at at times, which is impressive in its own right, but none of the designs stick with me like the creatures in The Thing or even Re-Animator. Is it the themes? Because I’m not even entirely sure what they are other than a loose look at madness and obsession. You could throw in addiction there as well, but we wouldn’t be closer to anything truly resonant I don’t think. Certainly other movies in this genre have played with those ideas in more interesting ways.

So what is it? Is it just the pure weirdness of the whole affair? Is it our obsession with bondage? And I mean that seriously. Geiger, Barker, Lovecraft – they all seem to have an obsession with limitations and extremes that is often represented by sexual bondage. Are they tapping into some dark desire that is inherent to us as a species and thus we’re attracted to these stories in some unconscious way?

Likely the answer is something simple like the VHS cover art was appealing and From Beyond became a cult hit that remains in that conversation today. But isn’t it more fun to try and unpack it a little more completely and see what resonates?


From Beyond scored ★★★☆☆

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