Beyond The Door 1974 ***

Horror fans may feel there’s plenty of good reasons to catch Beyond The Door; a massive his in 1975, Ovidio G Assantis’s film has been hard to see since; Warner Brothers sued, according to Wikipedia, successfully, claiming that the film was a rip-off of The Exorcist. It’s one possible reason why the film has so many titles (Devil Within Her, Sperm of the Antichrist), but given that Beyond The Door is not very similar to Friedkin’s classic horror at all, it’s hard to see how Warners won the case. Juliet Mills is the young mother who has a new baby on the way. Richard Johnson is Dimitri, a Satanist who is haunting her dreams and her everyday reality, and may know the truth about where her child comes from. Beyond The Door uses San Francisco locations with some skill, and has a very powerful shock moments, one involving toys coming to life. The opening narration, by the Devil, of course, is pretty chintzy, but there’s plenty for genre connoisseurs to enjoy.

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