Thursday, October 10, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 10 - Movie 1

From Beyond the Grave (1973) is  one of the many anthology films from Amicus. This one features four stories derived from the works of R. Chetwynd-Hayes. The stories are "The Gatecrasher" involving a bloodthirsty haunted mirror, "An Act of Kindness" family disfunction is solved through sympathetic magic, "The Elemental" about a married couple plagued by an invisible creature ttached to the husband's shoulder, and "The Door" about a magic door which opens into a blue room belonging to an evil occultist. The four stories are linked through objects acquired at an odd antiques shop run by Peter Cushing.

The anthology horror films produced by Amicus are all mixed bags and this one is no exception. As you would expect, the movie opens and closes with the two strongest stories. In the first, David Warner really brings home the tragedy of being enslaved as a killer for the entity trapped in his mirror. The middle two stories are fairly dull despite their fine casts. "The Elemental" suffers in an inability to decide if it wants to be a comedy or not. The answer should have been "no." "The Door" is the best of the lot, really playing up the supernatural menace, and that door that was the central prop to the story was just fantastic. I'd love to own it, cursed, or not.

This is probably best viewed on a rainy Sunday afternoon, which is not how I watched it, or skipped altogether.

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