Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Review: Beyond the Gates (2016)

Stars: Graham Skipper, Barbara Crampton

Budget: $300,000

Directed By: Jackson Stewart

Bab's is back!
That's right good old scream queen Barbara Crampton appears in this film, a homage to 80's video board game crazes.

It also, like a few movies of recent times has some heavily influences from that time period too. From the filming style to the colours and even effects.
This is a massive feat considering this was made on the incredibly small budget of £300,000. Almost in micro budget territory with such a low amount of funds.

This film is also decently acted and cut well too with some good but basic effects thrown in for good measure.
Lets get on with the film shall we.

The film shows us a happy family a mother and father with two kids playing around outside a newly opened video shop.
The kids are two brothers and they all seem pleased with the shop. as they all look on towards it as the film fades to black.

A number of years later around 20 the father has gone missing and their mother has been long dead. The two brothers (obviously now older) meet up at the store.
Apparently their father has gone missing before except this time it's been for a long time. Since it's been such a long time they are assuming the worst this time. The brothers are two very different people also, one a hard working serious type (Gordon) the other a laid back down and out (John).
Gordon lives out of town with his girlfriend Margot who is coming into town later on, he doesn't seem to enthused about coming to the town. He also seems terribly unimpressed by his brothers choices in life too. They check out his old video store and actually begin to get nostalgic as they begin to pack the videos away.

An old friend from their past shows up and is now the sheriff of the town, he gets nostalgic over a particular tape and the brothers let him take it. John starts talking about video board games as he finds them upon the shelf. near the end of the day they realise they can't get into the back room and think the key must be back at the house.

We meet Margot now and she seems to be properly in love with Gordon despite something happening between them a little while back. Gordon finds the back office key just before they go to bed.
The next day both the brothers enter their fathers backroom, which isn't what they were expecting but they do find a video board game they haven't seen before.
The put the tape in and we are treated to the opening narrative of the board game by none other than Bab's Crampton. A weird time lapse happens as they are watching the video and it's already time to pack up for home.

Back at their dad's old house they continue to play the game and learn that it's not an entirely up to scratch, in fact it's quite possibly demon possessed. They learn more about the game from some other near do wells, especially where their father bought it from.
Despite coming to the conclusion that their father has disappeared into the board game they try to leave it be but the game won't let them stop playing. So Margot, Gordon and John continue to play the game at the video's behest. There's really not that much left to say about the film, in fact we are near the end which you know i won't spoil.

That's the trouble with this film though, it builds up and builds up vey well in fact only to have the end of the film splurge it's load in the last 15 minutes, despite this the pacing is pretty decent and goes quite well from scene to scene. Not quite a 4 star but above a three star too so THN awards Beyond the gates 3 out of five stars but with a Heavy recommendation to watch.

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