Beyond the Door II / The Grim Reaper
Ugo Valenti, Turo Vasile for Laser Film
directed by Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava
starring Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner, David Colin jr, Ivan Rassimov, Nicola Salerno, Paul Costello
written by Lamberto Bava, Gianfranco Barbieri, Paolo Brigenti (= Alessandro Parenzo), Dardano Sacchetti, based on the novel The Shadow Guest by Hillary Waugh, music by I Libra (= Dino Cappa, Alessandro Centofanti, Walter Martino)
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Dora (Daria Nicolodi) and Bruno (John Steiner) move into a new house
with Marco (David Colin jr), her 7 year old son from a previous marriage.
But actually it's not a new house but the house Dora lived with her first
husband Carlo (Nicola Salerno) - but years ago, Carlo, a heroin addict,
killed himself, which temporarily turned her into a mental case. Thing
is, now that she's back in the house, she starts being haunted by her past
more and more ... and that Marco starts to behave ever more strangely and
even menace his mother doesn't help one bit either. Soon enough, Dora is
convinced that the house is haunted Carlo ... but Bruno simply refuses
to believe her, thinking it's just a slight case of hysteria set off by
bad memories, and whatever bad happens to her is just a series of
unfortunate accidents. And even Marco behaving oddly can be explained away
by just phase the boy's in. Thing is, after much to and fro Dora
starts to remember things about her husband's death, things that might
offer an alternative explanation to his apparent suicide - and the
uncertainty about what has happened back when pushes her further and
further over the edge ...
Italian horror maestro Mario Bava's last theatrical feature, and
frankly, not a super-deserving swan song: For the most part, the richness
of Bava's imagery is gone, giving room to a more perfunctory style of
filmmaking - and that's allegedly due to Bava being absent during much of
the filming, leaving direction in the hands of his son and assistant
director for a decade now Lamberto Bava - who as a director in his own
right always lacked the flamboyancy of his father. However with Mario
Bava's stylistic brilliance gone, one can't help but notice that the
script isn't exactly brilliant, and some of the setpieces (like Daria
Nicolodi being menaced by a cupboard in the finale) are a little on the
silly side. That said, Shock is still an effective shocker, a nice
mix between haunted house flick and The Omen-style evil kid
thriller. Not one of Mario Bava's best films, that's for sure, but a
pretty entertaining genre piece still.