Saturday, 6 May 2017

Unknown Beyond (aka Maelstrom Il Figlio dell'attrove)

Unknown Beyond (aka Maelstrom Il Figlio dell'attrove)
2001, Italy
dir. Ivan Zuccon
cast: Michael Segal, Emanuele Cerman, Roberta Marrelli

The Old Ones have returned to Earth, shattering reality. A handful of survivors cling on underground. They discover that the dread book Necronomicon holds the key to banishing the Old Ones back to the void, and begin a harrowing trek to locate the book in the ruins of Arkham, while plagued by various avatars of the gods, undead witches and so on.

The Lovecraftian apocalypse has been rarely tackled in literature and even more rarely in film, with good reason as these horrors are best left to the imagination, though this makes a half decent stab at it. The film's got a nightmarish, disjointed quality that transcends its obvious budget restrictions, and as such it's almost reminiscent of Lucio Fulci films such as The Beyond. It evokes a sense of true hopelessness. A few cheap effects can add  atmosphere if done right, and the boiling red sky does give the feeling of a world gone terribly wrong. Having said that, despite the atmosphere, the film has some major flaws- the acting and script's not very good, the undead witch seems like she's just staggered on to set on the way home from a goth club and by the end it's really confusing who's who, who's possessed and who's changed sides. Not great, but some good ideas.

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