From Beyond

frombeyondposterYear: 1986

Synopsis: Scientists, unwittingly or no, create a device that opens the door to an unknowable world of horror and mutation.

Pros:
• Was a wild Lovecraft adaptation that not only adapts 100% of the very short source material, but also adds to the story.
• All the actors played their roles perfectly, particularly Jeffery Combs in his well controlled and subdued campiness.
• Though not completely unheard of within the “body horror” sub-genre at the time, the grotesque visuals of mutation and unknowable things went in extreme directions that were rarely seen before or since.
• Its wild ambition, if only just, was implausibly just within its means.
• The underlying narrative of mental health, addiction, and identity in the face of inexplicable change drives the film.
• It ate him! LOL!

Cons:
• While far from forced, the sexualized elements of the film made it more a modernized piece of weird fiction than a traditional one.
• The extremely grotesque visuals and adult themes were not for everyone.
• The unknowable and unanswered elements might be confusing to those unfamiliar with weird fiction.

Discussion:
“I have to see more! Feel more!”

Like in the similarly Lovecraftian film Annihilation (2018), it might not have been a coincidence that the protagonists found themselves in a literal field of change. A hallmark of weird fiction is subjecting the most rationally minded people to something more than they ever comprehended, yet they might have been seeking something more all along. The true horror, of course, comes in the fact that they find themselves glimpsing the humanly unknowable. Their sanity is tested and often lost. Yet, the madness infused within them by the end is that they are now changed forever in ways no “normal” human can understand. From Beyond was a film about seeking something more in life, here by stimulating the pineal gland, and while the journey may pull them forward in ways not unlike addiction, they become consumed by the unknowable in all ways possible and implausible.


Original Story

Rotten Tomatoes — 75%

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