Beyond the Door (1974)

beyond the door poster 1974 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Some higher than average quality

Exorcist rip-off that doesn't have enough original ideas or a coherent plot

Movie Info

Movie Name: Beyond the Door

Studio:  An Erre Cinematografica

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  November 21, 1974 (Italy)/July 31, 1975 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

beyond the door juliet mills demonic possession

What a lovely day for an exorcism….sorry that line’s already been used

Jessica Barrett (Juliet Mills) and her husband Robert (Gabriele Lavia) in their San Francisco home with their two children (Barbara Fiorini and David Colin Jr.).  When Jessica finds herself suddenly pregnant, her doctor and friend George Staton (Nino Segurini) realizes there is something odd about Jessica’s pregnancy.  The pregnancy is occurring rapidly and Jessica is acting strange.  When Robert begins to see a mysterious man named Dimitri (Richard Johnson) seems to be following him around, he is about to discover the horror growing in Jessica.

Directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis (who also helped write the film) and Robert Barrett, Beyond the Door (Chi sei? or Who Are You?) is an Italian horror B-Movie.  The film resembled The Exorcist and faced a lawsuit from Warner Bros (who did receive a payout).  The film garnered negative reviews but gained a cult following over the years.

I classify Beyond the Door as a B-Movie not so much in the quality of the film but in the fact it is a blatant rip off of The Exorcist (even down to some similar shots).  The film has some moments, but is more watchable for the humor rather than the scares.

beyond the door demonic possession juliet mills head test

Are you the Gatekeeper?

The movie takes aspects of The Exorcist and mashes it with Rosemary’s Baby for a rather confusing story of a ghost (?), demon worship, and possession.  The film has that Italian feel that doesn’t quite mesh wish American horror including little kids who swear and girl who has an obsession with the novel Love Story.  Jessica’s pregnancy makes her get all “Linda Blair” by the end of the film, but instead of an exorcism, the film is pushing toward allowing the demon to win.

The film does have a surprisingly decent cast.  Juliet Mills was already making a name for herself at the time and Gabriele Lavia starred in a number of successful Italian giallo and horror films.  Richard Johnson also was a known actor at the time and continued to have a successful career after Beyond the Door.  I particularly like the weird kids played by Barbara Fiorini and David Colin Jr. and their creepy dubbed voices (which were honestly scarier than the demon).

beyond the door demon child ending

Oh no! The horror continues….

The film also has a certain quality to it.  The movie takes a lot of experimental shots and does some clever editing throughout the course of the film.  It is in line with a lot of foreign horror, but it probably a step above horror films from the U.S. in the 1980s when horror ruled.  There are some weird edits and sound mixing that just make you question what you are watching.

Beyond the Door is worth seeking out because it is a good bad movie.  It feels familiar since it borrows from a lot of films (though it does predate a lot of the other Exorcist rip-off stuff), but the tale of possession itself isn’t very inspired.  Mario Bava’s 1975 horror film Shock was released some places as Beyond the Door II and a third unrelated “sequel-only-by-title” Beyond the Door III was released in 1989.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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