Shock (1977)

SHOCK (1977)
aka Schock, Beyond the Door II
Article 4928 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 9-14-2014
Directed by Mario Bava
Featuring Daria Nivolodi, John Steiner, David Colin Jr.
Country: Italy
What it is: Horror

A woman returns to live with her son and her second husband to the house where she lived with her first husband. The child begins to act very strangely. Is he possessed? Is the house haunted? What secrets are buried in this household?

This movie entered my hunt list under the title BEYOND THE DOOR II, and if you’re wondering why Italy’s most famous horror director would choose for his last feature film to make a sequel to Italy’s worst rip-off of THE EXORCIST, then you should bear in mind that that title was only slapped on this one for marketing purposes; outside of the fact that the same child actor appears in both movies and a few of the plot elements are similar, this has no connection to BEYOND THE DOOR. On its own terms, the movie isn’t entirely successful, and you’ll see one of the big plot revelations coming a mile away, but it’s rather interesting to see the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach the movie takes. It’s a possession movie, a haunted house thriller, a “skeleton in the closet” thriller, a “revenge from the grave” film, a work of psychological horror, and it even throws in a little of the “disembodied hand” subgenre. There’s a little too much screaming for my taste, but other than that, the use of sound and music is excellent, and it’s visually interesting. It’s not one of Bava’s best, but it isn’t bad, and it was a decent one on which he could end his film career.

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