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Beyond the Door II (1977)

Schock (original title)
A couple is terrorized in their new house haunted by the vengeful ghost of the woman's former husband who possesses her young son.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dora Baldini
...
Bruno Baldini
David Colin Jr. ...
Marco
Ivan Rassimov ...
Dr. Aldo Spidini
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Storyline

Dora Baldini, her husband Bruno Baldini and her son Marco move to a huge house that belongs to her. Dora lived in this house with Marco and her former husband, who was drug addicted and committed suicide. The house is empty since them and Bruno, who is a pilot, has decided to move to the place claiming it is close to the airport. Soon Marco is possessed by the ghost of his father and Dora is haunted by the house. She tells to Bruno that they need to leave the house and she is afraid of her son, but he believes Dora relapsed since she had a breakdown when he husband died. Why the vengeful spirit is seeking revenge? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A new look at the face of evil. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

12 August 1977 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Door II  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final film directed by Italian horror legend Mario Bava. See more »

Goofs

A black cord is visible pulling a wooden object toward Dora. See more »

Quotes

Bruno Baldini: There's nothing worse for a marriage than sending a husband off without his coffee.
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Connections

References The Whip and the Body (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Italian horror done almost perfect
5 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sometimes all you need in horror is a sense of mood in a place. Other times, a warped state of mind can help a great deal by a filmmaker's point of view to get a viewer tapped in. In Shock, we do know for certain that a mother, Dora, her cute little son Marco, and her second husband Bruno, are at a new house they just bought. But what we don't know for certain, perhaps not fully even until the very end, what is really taking the shape of the horror, and that's the key to Mario Bava's success here (actually his last film, quite a feat for any time in his career). We're lead to believe that this is most likely a ghost story - at least at first. It seems straightforward enough: the boy keeps getting weird, sneaking on his mother (even stealing her underwear) and acts generally creepy, and soon get some supernatural mojo with a doll made up of his mom and a swing that can control his stepfather's flight plan as he pilots a plane.

There is that aspect, and Bava does get some good mileage out of the mannerisms and kind eyes of the child actor Colin Jr (his voice on the other hand leaves much more to be desired). But then sometime else happens after a little while: we get to follow Dora more closely, specifically when she has nightmares or can't really tell between what is real and what is dark fantasy. She has a dream where she's trapped in her bedroom, and a box-cutter moves by itself, hovering and threatening her at every turn. She also sees a giant brick wall and screams in agony, for reasons that won't become clear until much later. Again, could still all be the ghost going on - who we also learn soon after could allegedly be her first husband, who died from suicide as a junkie.

But the fact that Dora was a former mental patient, and spent some time in an asylum and got some shock treatments, calls into question her reliability as a character. Her husband doesn't believe her, but who would in this situation (and, naturally, in this kind of semi-ghost sub-horror genre)? What we see is a split between what is expected, and Bava has a gay-old-time showing us imagery that is just downright disturbing. Some of it early on borders on being just wrong (the boy making sight of her mother as she sleeps, perhaps possessed or directed by his dead father... or is he?), and then other times things just get strange, deliberately. It is Italian Horror, after all, but done without the tasteless style of a Fulci. This is more... I don't know if classy is the word, but Bava knows his camera and knows how to create eerie suspense out of nothing, so it's kind of a bridge between being grindhouse and being true Gothic terror.

And sure, some parts the dialog is weak and the actress Nicoldi shrieks so high that you can hear Fay Wray telling her to knock it off. But Bava gets us interested in the plight of this character, what will happen to her as, naturally, she stays in the house because her husband doesn't want to leave (at least not just yet), and what sinister act the husband-cum-son will do next as well. There's are scenes where horror creeps up on a viewer; watch as Dora keeps hearing her boy call out for her from... somewhere, and can't find him, but sees something wicked in the piano room (at one point, I should add, it laughs), and the ambiguity of this scene, among others, drives the tension and madness. While not flawless, it's the work of a master. 9.5/10


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