From Beyond is a horror movie that is just that – pure horror. It begins with a science experiment to make the sixth sense palpable and instead it brings forth monsters. The things that Dr. Pretorius and Dr. Tillinghast manifest do indeed come from beyond and it is not long before they realize that they have made a huge mistake as Pretorius is soon killed and Crawford Tillinghast is committed. Not everyone thinks Crawford mad though and he is let loose with a psychiatrist named Dr. McMichaels to rebuild the machine which once again, lets loose the same horrors which this time, will not be contained.
Starring both Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton who at this point had both just appeared in Re-Animator together, not to mention director Stuart Gordon, this adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story comes to startling life in grand fashion. The visual and practical effects are incredible for 1986 and remain just as powerful in the brutal visions they bring forth thirty years after first appearing on the big screen. After an opening that would intrigue the viewer immediately, it is the blood and gore that would soon begin that would keep them hooked with a foray into one of the best body horror films ever made, one that would guarantee nightmares when all was said and done. To say the movie is gruesome is an understatement as Combs and company come into contact with horror face to face and Gordon packs the film with nightmarish visions both crazed and perverse. Suffice it to say, while it is hard to look at in some cases, it is impossible to turn away as the movie completely enchants and watching until the very last minute is a given no matter how repugnant it might get.
While it seems as if Gordon is going to overwhelm his viewers with a seemingly endless parade of gory horror, there is a story in-between it all and it finds the good doctors doing what all doctors should, which is pushing the boundaries of science. As for Dr. Tillinghast as played by Combs, after it all goes wrong and it looks as if there is no coming back for anyone, he manages to redeem himself in the end. Additionally starring Ken Foree, the man definitely adds a bit of fun to the picture and both he and Crampton and last but not least, Ted Sorel as the villainous Pretorius, make a good on-screen team and the film definitely benefits from their talents.
With this movie, Lovecraft was represented better than most, a vision of horror brought to life that would stick with the audience long after the end credits and one that a person can easily watch more than once.
3.5 out of 5