Hey gang, Valkor here. I’ve taken MediaView pretty much across the globe – from Australia, the U.K., Taiwan and Japan; sure there’s still plenty of countries I’ve yet to dabble when it comes to film, but so long as this site is still up and running, I know I’ll get there. Next up, is a film from Brazil and it’s probably one of the strangest flicks I’ve ever sat through. It’s called “Beyond the Grave” or we could go by it’s original title “Portos Dos Mortos”. Either way... wow!
Beyond the Grave takes place during a zombie apocalypse and centers on a cop known only by his title “Policial”. He’s in search of a supernatural serial killer with the ability to swap bodies just before the host expires. Along the way he’ll make and lose a few travel companions; he starts out his journey meeting a young man and his seemingly mute girlfriend, moving on two a house with two men and a pregnant woman and midway he'll face his demon foe along with two of his (well her) henchmen. And inbetween until the bitter end he'll bash/slash some zombie skull, learn more about the demon he's chasing until the fight battle between the two. But to finish off his enemy, he’ll have to defend against someone he has met along his travels and considers him a friend, a mentor of sorts and is now the vessel for the demon.
Beyond the Grave is something of an “arthouse” type of film, which you can tell immediately by how it was shot – it reminds me of “Clerks” in how the camera is usually at a fixed position. Watching this film I’m also reminded of Gareth Edward’s “Monsters”, while the film is something of a horror, the locales are vibrant and beautifully shot – even the most desolate areas are pleasing to the eyes as the camera captures tons of detail.
The style of Beyond the Grave” is something that's quite new for me, since this isn’t the kind of film I normally receive to review. But I’m never one to back down from any film… well almost any film. Actually, when it comes to this site, I’m pretty much open to just about anything. Hell I reviewed “A Serbian Film” for crying out loud! And with that, on to the TOV Breakdown.
Beyond the Grave is different from my usual horror fare and if you’re into zombies… you “might” not enjoy it all that much. The film has a creepy, 70s/80s spaghetti western feel to it. Actually, zombies aren’t the real focus, Policial is and it’s his story that not only intrigues me but kept me watching until the end. He fights the bad guys with both gun and blade and doesn’t mix too many words – he’s just a bad ass and that’s all that needs to be said. It has a rough start, but if you continue you’ll find loads of gore, unpredictable twists and decent amount of action; the opening scene alone where Policial shoots up a room full of thugs and then takes on a samurai is pretty bad ass – confusing, but still bad ass. Then there’s the demon he’s hunting – you’ll never really know who it is until you see the reds of its eyes, then you know it’s about to go down. The film uses loads of practical effects to good use; the look of the zombie creatures is amazing, with rich detail and an abundance of blood to go along with it. I also enjoyed how the film was shot (as mentioned above); we’re talking strong, bold colors and a camera that captures beauty in even the grungiest of places. The acting is ok, though I’m unfamiliar with actors in this territory; it doesn’t feel like anything Oscarworthy, but performed well enough to do the story justice. There’s a lot of cool and in some areas not so cool, about Beyond the Grave, but in the end… not bad.
…except when it is bad. The film is far from perfect and most notable is the gorgeous way the film was shot, which is also the film's downfal because it doesn’t add any real suspense – it simply doesn’t feel at all threatening. The film definitely needed a filter to sort of tone down some of the colors, because it’s hard to be scared when you’re looking at a screen full of lush green. Next up is the pacing, which does drag, but not so heavy that you'll wanna turn the film off, but nothing truly eventful happens and that really brings the pacing down. And that brings me to my final point – there’s no suspense - no jump scares or monsters creeping behind the victim, hell there are times when characters simply walk around the zombies – there’s even a blind zombie that Policial says is his friend and he insists on keeping him alive (he ends up getting killed in the worse way though). But I will give points for that one zombie that could use a gun. I did not expect that at all!
Crispy blind zombie!
Beyond the Grave has been around since 2010 and has recently been given the digital treatment; If you have a Hulu (Plus) account you can find it there. However, if you’re a hardcore zombie fan, you might want to look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for something new, interesting and weird, then this might be the one. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m gonna meet Beyond the Grave halfway and give it a 2.5.