Beyond Re-Animator

Beyond_Re-animatorYear: 2003

Synopsis: Imprisoned for the last 13 years, Dr. Herbert West continues his experiments in the resurrection of the recently deceased.

Pros:
• Jeffrey Combs continued to provide the cold and calculated drive of the film as Dr. Herbert West, Re-Animator, while just that much more darkly sarcastic.
• Was far less a remake of the original as it might seem at first.
• The new concept of grafting a brain’s electrical energy added a new level of unexplainable weirdness to the continuing story.
• The villainous Warden helped to make up for the missing Dr. Hill, if only just.
• The sustained chaos in the latter half of the film was largely effective in its surreal and grotesque imagery.
• The ending being less ambiguous was a good piece of ironic writing, compared to its predecessors.

Cons:
• The first third of the film largely ran on the nostalgia for the prior films.
• Some of the surreal nature of the original story was replaced by somewhat more standard zombie themes.
• Was more for fans of the series, as this might be difficult for the uninitiated to follow.

Discussion:
Finding the key to resurrection can only be a dark journey. Dr. Herbert West embraced all the necessary sacrifice to do the experimentation that he thought needed to be done. Yet, the reagent always seemed to be half the puzzle. West was never truly deluded, so he worked to discover something more about the nature of life. The transferring of such energies from being to being was a wonderful piece of weird fiction writing that largely saved the film from total sameness. Did West discover the tangible human soul? Did that energy merely contain a kind of sense memory of the original holder? None of it was truly clear, as even West did not yet know the true nature of his discovery. In the end, Dr. Herbert West can only continue his mad experiments. There was nothing left but that obsession. He may ultimately fail, but his story was perhaps only ever about his journey to pull people out of the unknowable darkness of death.


Official Website

Original Story

Rotten Tomatoes — 45%

 

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