Beyond The Gates (2016)
Two estranged brothers reunite at their missing father's video store to liquidate the property and sell off his assets. As they dig through the store, they find a VCR board game dubbed 'Beyond The Gates' that holds a connection to their father's disappearance and deadly consequences for anyone who plays it.
REVIEW: I was pretty excited when I got to finally sit down and review Beyond The Gates, a recent horror movie I've heard nothing but great things about. Jumanji was one of my favorite movies as a child, I would watch that VHS tape so much I wore it out. With that in mind, it's pretty easy to see why I would get excited to watch, essentially, what is a horror movie version of that idea. A mystical and mysterious VCR board game that can manipulate real life based off your moves in the game? Count me in!
To my disappointment, for a horror movie I felt it don't go nearly far enough with that awesome Jumanji-style idea, nor does it even incorporate that idea often enough. Way too much of this movie is just the characters talking about the game and not nearly enough of this movie is them actually playing the game, and then when they do it's only very briefly before they yet again cast the game off to the side and go about their day. This movie is just one big cock tease for those like me that would love a Jumanji-like horror movie and thought this would deliver upon that far more than it does.
Also, on the very basic level of what makes a horror movie, it fails - the scares! There are no scares to be found in this movie, nor any tension or suspense, and hardly even any atmosphere save for a teeny tiny bit toward the very end, for but a quick moment.
Luckily there are a few areas that the movie does handle quite well that salvaged my viewing at least somewhat. First off, the gore is really well done here and even though we don't get a whole lot of it outside of just a couple scenes, those couple scenes of it are amazing, with plenty of the red stuff flowing and the effects for those scenes were done quite well. In addition, the acting all around was fantastic by all parties involved, especially by Brea Grant (who I'm most familiar with as the Speedster from the awesome TV show Heroes), and that alone was the sole reason I even bothered to finish this movie, as I was genuinely really enjoying their performances and chemistry together. Lastly, the movie looks gorgeous. It was really well-shot overall, and I'm sure it'll pop beautifully on BluRay with all those various bright blues, purples, pinks, and reds.
I really do hate the fact that I dislike this movie so much because despite my thoughts on the overall package here, it really is quite evident that everyone involved put forward a commendable effort, it's just sadly the script is a boring, uninteresting, cocktease of a mess that really probably could have benefited from having another few drafts of work done on it before making the movie.
4/10 rooms in the Psych Ward