From Beyond (1986/Blu-ray&DVD Combo/Scream Factory)" Review

Out-there scientist Dr. Pretorious (Ted Sorel) and his assistant, Dr. Tillinghast (Jeffery Combs), are working towards breaking through earthly perceptions and revealing a new alternate universe. They do this by stimulating the pineal gland of the human brain, which enables people to see the strange creatures that inhabit a parallel dimension. Unfortunately, these creatures can now see humans as well, and they are none too pleased with it. Dr. Pretorious is killed by the floating monstrosities, but the police blame his assistant for the murder and lock him up. Only Dr. Katharine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) believes the insane tales of Dr. Tillinghast, and it's up to her to shut down the experiment that threatens to unleash the other-dimensional creatures on this universe forever.

Review: From Beyond is the second film by director Stuart Gordon and also his second H.P. Lovecraft adaptation. Like his first film "Re-Animator" this film takes the viewer where they have never been before and pushes the boundaries of what you can do in the horror genre. One thing that fans of Re-Animator will notice on their first viewing of From Beyond is some of the cast from Re-Animator have returned including Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Bunny Summers, and Carolyn Purdy-Gordon. Almost all of the returning actors play a different character other than Carolyn Purdy-Gordon who basically plays a doctor in both films.
The two biggest changes when it comes to the cast and their characters in From Beyond is that dealing with Jeffrey Combs who now plays more of the victim role instead of the one causing the bad things to happen, also Barbara Crampton goes from being a victim into a psychologist who becomes obsessed with the "resonator" and causes bad things to come from beyond. It's great to see those actors thrown into that dynamic. Aside from the great cast the other thing that makes this film so great is the visuals.
From the creatures to the gore effects all of it looks simply amazing. From Beyond is a good film to show when you want to prove to someone that good old practical effects are better than any CGI. My personal favorite of the effects is a tie between the final stage transformation makeup that Crawford (Jeffrey Combs) has on his face and head, and the grotesque final form that Dr. Pretorius is in towards the end of the film. Both effects are truly something to see to believe. Now this film is not all gore and and creatures there is a erotic edge to the film as well that is oddly intriguing. Also you get to see Barbara Crampton in a very sexy bondage outfit, really that is the only part that I really liked about the eroticism in From Beyond.

Like Re-Animator this film is based off a short story from H.P. Lovecraft so basically they have the original story in the beginning and goes from there into the rest of the film that was made up to make it a feature film which they did an awesome job doing. One thing I will say is that if you like the over the top story and visuals of Re-Animator than I think you will enjoy this one as well, but keep in mind From Beyond goes in more of a straightup horror film instead of having humor added in. Overall this is an excellent film that I couldn't recommend more!

The presentation on this Blu-ray release is simply awesome, the picture is very cleaned up and sharp. It's not cleaned up so much that they destroy the film grain, but it is cleaned just the way it should be. Another thing that I knew would look awesome is the colors they use, the pink, blue, and purple lighting in From Beyond is very bold and vibrant. One blu-ray release I can compare the  colors to is that of Beetlejuice. It does seem they used the same source material that MGM used a few years back on their DVD release. The audio is great as well and is very clear and nice. Along with a fantastic presentation you also get a ton of special features that include interview, a photo gallery, retrospective, and many other!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Stuart Gordon
Genre: Horror

Blu-ray Release Year: 2013
Theatrical Release Year: 1986
Time Length: 86 mins.
Company: Scream Factory (Shout! Factory)