Beyond The Grave Review Mar 17, 2013 17:01:24 GMT -5
Post by Mr.HoRrOr on Mar 17, 2013 17:01:24 GMT -5
Plot:In a devastated post-apocalyptic world where the rules of reality are transformed by magic and madness, a vengeful police officer searches for a possessed serial killer in a battle of the not-so-good versus absolute evil.
Álvaro Rosa Costa
Isidoro B. Guggiana
Lindon Satoru Shimizu
My Thoughts:A blend of one genre too many.
Review:"Beyond The Grave" is a horror/action/post-apocalyptic entry from filmmaker Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro. Where a post-apocalyptic world is ruled by pretty much anyone and everyone. Depending on what side of town you're on. But in the midst of all of this chaos, destruction, and death...a not-so-nice renegade cop, hunts a demonically possessed serial killer. This flick isn't a big jump from the other films of this type of genre. Like in most post-apocalyptic horror, the movie has all the earmarks of this particular sub genre.
Desolate wasteland type backdrops. Fearful people, gun-play, crazies at almost every turn, and of course immense bloodshed. However, this one doesn't use zombies or vampires as it's catalyst for the antagonist. But instead, demonically possessed people. Who can be killed by the usual methods though. Bullets to the head. In this film, the movies villain doesn't act as a mindless drone hutning and killing, but instead...there's some good backstory and dialogue here that builds up the relationship, and thereby rivalry...between the films villain and hero.
But issues arise when the hero's story unfolds throughout the movie. As usual, the hero as he makes his way through this world. Picks up scragglers. Basically, akin to Alice in "Resident Evil". Where with every new stop, some more folks are picked up and tag along for the rest of the journey. These characters aren't very well-developed either. And are moreso, blends and mixes of previous "post-apoc" horror flick characters. Like the tough-teenage kid, the wise elder sensai type, etc. This movie is often also hurt by its budget.
Granted, you have to appreciate the grit and determination of some indie horror on a limited cash campaign. But at the same time, this one is VERY low budget. In some cases, almost at "early Troma" levels. Although Troma movies worked at that budget because they told a different story. This movie tries to blend together elements of spaghetti western, "Once Upon A Time In Mexico", and other similar genres and films. I think a bigger budget would've been needed to properly pull this off. The film had a good story, and a good idea. And a decent lead actor in both the villain and hero roles.
But anyone knows that movies where gun play, fighting, and post-apocalyptic planets, worlds, or countries are involved. They need decent sized budgets. It's too bad this movie went ultra-shoestring. Ithurt what otherwise could've been a very interesting story. But the films ambition and determination to tell a fresh, end-of-society or end-of-humanity tale was not dented by the lack of proper production funding. The pic knows what's at its disposal, and just goes with it. And expects the audience or viewer to as well.
And in some scenes you can, but in other more difficult and larger scenes.....you can't. Hence why its budget is such a drain on the flick at times. There's also a tendency in this movie to overdo and overuse "standoff talk". To an extreme even. Everytime our hero is faced with his arch nemesis. Or some minions of said arch-nemesis. The dialogue doesn't take a fresh approach. And instead, goes more for a cheesy western vibe. I think the viewer "gets" what's happening.
As far as events unfolding on screen are concerned. And doesn't need "high noon standoff" lines to further enhance things. Although in this movies case, since it seemed to be so "western" influenced. Perhaps that was an homage to that genre, or was done on purpose by the filmmakers and writers in the context of making the movie. What occurs in these scenes after the "sometimes awful"...dialogue is spoken, is pretty cool though.
And the battle scenes and bloodshed during those scenes, add a harsh, hard, and gritty feel to an otherwise peeks and valleys type of small-budget horror/action flick. Peeks and valleys being the term I am using in this review, since this movie has its ups and downs. Which also include am abundance of time and plot point jumping. Which complicate at times, and mostly smooth story. There's nothing more annoying than being "into" a picture.
Only to have "time jumping" to occur at an inopportune time. To tell half the story of one character. The films ending also needed some polishing and smoothing out. While it has high entertainment value, it leaves too many unanswered and open-ended questions to truly be, "the end" to a picture like this. Davi's film is a step in the right direction for indie horror overall though. Despite being hurt by dialogue, storytelling, and budget issues at times. "Beyond The Grave" tries a fresh approach at the old game of "post-civilization" or "ravaged lands" horror. A sub-genre which has been populated by zombies in far too many films. It was nice to see that backburnered for a change.
THE GOOD:A novel and new approach to the old "post-apocalyptic" world storyline. Fight and battle scenes were gory and gritty. Decent villain and hero characters. And some good interactions between the two. And kudos to a very weird and effective scene involving a Harmonica and one of the bad guys. Also perhaps, too many genres were mixed together or homaged here. Occult, zombies, westerns, action, road movie, etc. Hurt the film at times due to a lack of smooth transitioning into certain moments and scenes.
THE BAD:A few annoying cliches and dialogue issues here and there. Storytelling was smooth up until the time-jumping moments. And again, the budget was too small for such an ambitious story.
OVERALL:Two stars out of four.