Back to the Beyond is one of the most mediocre films I have ever seen. I actually enjoy watching incredibly bad movies, but most people probably won't last more than five minutes into this one. The dialogue is forced and stilted, and the acting is abysmal. I hate to be so cruel to a group of indie filmmakers, but facts are facts: I don't think I've ever seen more amateurish acting - and it comes from every single actor and actress in the film. Useless montages backed by odd and disjointed music, apparently used to pad a story that could not even sustain itself for an hour, makes the viewing experience even worse. I know the budget was only 25K - 30K, but that's really no excuse for putting out a product this overwhelmingly bad.
I like the idea the filmmakers had of making something of a sequel to an episode of One Step Beyond, but that's mainly because I love that old show and rank it above The Twilight Zone. The episode referenced here is "The Captain's Guests," a season one episode that aired in 1959. In that story, a couple rents a majestic but "unfriendly" old house in which a belligerent old sea captain murdered his wife and her supposed lover. The husband basically gets possessed by the sea captain's spirit, undergoing a remarkable transformation that was definitely one step beyond explainable. Back to the present, another couple now lives on the property and is experiencing problems. A team of paranormal investigators is called in to investigate whether the place is truly haunted. Unfortunately, that team is the P.A.R.A. team, a dysfunctional group of yahoos who continually bicker back and forth and never investigate a single thing once they finally arrive at the house (halfway through the mercifully short film).
Every member of the team has issues, and the attempt at character development only made me dislike each of them more and more. It's all a lot of work for nothing, as this film has no ultimate payoff. You keep waiting for something to happen, and then - when it does happen - it's all over before you know it. That's the really disappointing thing about Back to the Beyond - and it's why this is one bad movie than even bad movie lovers like me will do well to simply skip on by.
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