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‘Beyond the Grave’ Lacks an Identity (Review)

Beyond the Grave 2010 movie pic3 Written by: Matt Molgaard Directed by: Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro Cast: Rafael Tombini, Álvaro Rosa Costa, Amanda Lerias I’ll be completely honest, Beyond the Grave has me a little confused. Is this a post-apocalyptic zombie flick, or a revenge thriller? Are we leaning on character development, or not? Is this art house, or nothing more than awkward cinematography with no set design? The film, which comes to the US by way of Brazil, feels like a lost soul in its own right, totally uncertain of exactly what it wants to be. And that confusion spills right out of the screen, flooding viewers early and often. Investing in a flick that mirrors the work of an artist with amnesia just isn’t all too attractive.

Beyond the Grave

The story follows a man of the law, in post-apocalyptic Brazil as he hunts for a mysterious entity capable of jumping from one body to the next, inflicting chaos, pain and death in the process. He’s basically a tough as nails supernatural serial killer that is going to require a certified bad ass to bring about his demise. But this police dude isn’t exactly officer of the month material. He repeatedly comes face to face with his nemesis, repeatedly loses those exchanges and subsequently falls into this strange mental state time and again in which he’s constantly reassuring himself and dedicating his efforts to finding and exterminating this evil… even though he just got his ass handed to him a few moments ago by this “mysterious” villain who we know we’ll see again in 15 minutes, once more confronting our stellar super cop. All the while a zombie or two pops up and takes a bite out of any readily available meals, IE: Careless youngsters.

That’s the story, and it really isn’t as outlandishly entertaining as it should be. A paper thin score doesn’t work to enhance any visuals, it just slows the flow of the flick down, nearly lulling the viewer to sleep. The acting is surprisingly inspired, not highly refined, but delivered with visible effort. The gory shots are few and far between, but there are a couple quick looks that hearken back to some of the tamer Herschell Gordon Lewis works, and I can dig that. It looks like Marcelo Allgayer made an attempt creating a little visual magic, but that magic is a long way from convincing and it isn’t all too pleasing on the eyes. In short, the movie is all over the place, no sense of cohesion detectable.

The idea to blend a number of subgenres can work. It’s been done before (see Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm or his more recent effort, John Dies at the End for amazing examples of flawless fusion) to great success. Unfortunately for writer/director Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro, this isn’t one of those pics. It falls short on most levels, although I’ll extend some respect for the simple fact that there is actual effort alive and present. Beyond the Grave isn’t the worst film I’ve seen, but it sure as hell isn’t the best. This isn’t a disappointing film as a result of laziness, it’s a disappointing film because it lacks any semblance of an identity.

Rating: 2/5

About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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