Two estranged brothers find an old VHS board game
that drags them into a supernatural fight for their lives.
Beyond the Gates (2016)
Directed by Jackson Stewart
Written by Jackson Stewart and Stephen Scarlata
Starring Graham Skipper, Chase Williamson, Brea Grant,
Barbara Crampton, Matt Mercer, Justin Welborn
I didn't expect much from Beyond the Gates, and in that respect, I wasn't disappointed. Netflix is home to a thousand low-budget forgettable indie horror flicks, and I occasionally like to flick them on just on the off chance that there's a gem hidden in all those rocks. But most of the time, they're there for a reason. Such is the case with Beyond the Gates, a film with a brilliant concept but a poor execution.
Gordon (Graham Skipper) and John (Chase Williamson) are two estranged brothers cleaning out their missing father's video store. When they discover an interactive VHS board game called "Beyond the Gates," all hell breaks loose when the game turns out to be a supernatural force that may have killed their dad. In order to escape its clutches, they have to play and beat the game. This film is essentially horror Jumanji, which was such a neat idea. But the performances are weak, the climax is nonsensical, and the film is never taken to the freakish lengths they could go with this idea. In the end, it's just sort of 'meh.'
Beyond the Gates won't be anybody's all-time favorite, and it has a few creepy moments. But mostly, it's just background noise that never lives up to its full potential. In the right hands, this idea could be absolutely mind-boggling. For now, at least, it's just another missed opportunity.