"Beyond The Gates" is directed by Jackson Stewart and stars screen legend Barbara Crampton, with Brea Grant, Chase Williamson, Graham Skipper. The film is an indie love affair with VHS 80's horror. With atmospheric synth music, dressed down sets and a kitchy straight from Full Moon Horror tale, "Beyond The Gates" is anot instant cult classic.
In the wake of their father's mysterious disappearance, two estranged brothers -- responsible Gordon and reckless John -- reunite to sift through the contents of his stubbornly anachronistic VHS rental store. Among the inventory, they discover an interactive VCR board game, which their father viewed just before he vanished. Intrigued, the boys pop in the tape, press play, and soon discover that, far from an ordinary game, the video is a portal to a nightmarish alternate reality.
The story is pretty basic and definitely classic. The characters are recognizable tropes found throughout 80's genre films, such as "The Gates" and "Night Of The Demons". At times the characters feel slightly two-dimensional and moments fall a bit flat, but never to a level that drops the energy of the story. An even-keeled balance and steady rise to the climax is maintained nicely right up to the horror popcorn thrills. Even the "sun shines down on all" ending scene comes of more sweet than cheesy.
The special effects in "Beyond The Gates" are great. The practical effects are visceral, on screen goodies than work perfectly. The spooky atmospheric and supernatural elements are totally 80's fun. Overall this is a nicely made, slice of indie cult delight. One for the collection. (4/5)