‘Press PLAY… And pray.’
Beyond the Gates is a 2016 American adventure horror feature film produced and directed by Jackson Stewart from a screenplay co-written with Stephen Scarlata. The synth score was composed by Wojciech Golczewski (Tonight She Comes; We Are Still Here; Late Phases).
Barbara Crampton, (We Are Still Here; You’re Next; From Beyond), Graham Skipper (Almost Human), Chase Williamson (The Guest), Brea Grant (Halloween II), Matt Mercer (Contracted), Justin Welborn (The Signal, V/H/S/ Viral), Henry LeBlanc, Jesse Merlin, David Bruckner (co-director of V/H/S, The Signal), and Pierson Ryan.
Two estranged brothers reunite at their missing father’s video store to liquidate the property and sell off his assets. As they dig through the store, they find a VCR board game dubbed ‘Beyond The Gates’ that holds a connection to their father’s disappearance and deadly consequences for anyone who plays it…
“Beyond the Gates plays like a hilarious nod to 1980s cult films, told through the medium of a bloody, grown up version of Jumanji. The practical effects look great, the actors are wonderful, and the music provides a sense of creeping dread and fueled with Phantasm vibes. To put it simply, if you’re a fan of Stuart Gordon or Don Coscarelli, chances are you’ll enjoy this film.” Kalyn Corrigan, Bloody Disgusting
“Being a low-budget indie flick, one must forgive the uneven cinematography, sometimes too-loose editing, and otherworldly specters that look better in some scenes than others. What one must celebrate is the commitment of first-time feature director Jackson Stewart to making a movie for horror fans, using the best cast for the story, and coming up with a truly imaginative and intriguing plot.” Staci Layne Wilson, Dread Central
“I really loved this film, with its hints of Jumanji, Hellraiser and “The Further” from the Insidious films, the nostalgia, the family themes and the solid performances – and I think you will too. So definitely keep your eyes peeled for a wider release…” Michael Klug, Horror Freak News
“The long, long setup feels like it’s set in molasses, with a minimum of horror; perhaps the conversational exchanges are meant to be more humorous than I discerned, which might explain why it felt slow to me. Once things get going, however, Beyond the Gates is an enjoyable romp, complete with over the top practical effects that call back to some of the more outlandishly gruesome horror films of the late 80s and early 90s.” Peter Martin, Screen Anarchy
“Beyond the Gates is uncomplicated, which leaves a downscaled production vulnerable to stagnant scenes that have nowhere but calm character conversations to siphon minimal energy from. Keep confidence in where the feel, fiction, and fun factor are heading and patience pays off with some spectacular practical FX punctuation marks and supernatural thrills.” Culture Crypt
“Beyond the Gates was a good family drama about reconciliation and a pretty mediocre horror film. But, the horror wasn’t all bad. There were a lot of practical effects used for gruesome death scenes that were pretty entertaining. However that’s about the best that can be said for the horror side of things. Unfortunately amusing death scenes don’t make up for the slow pace.” Che Gilson, UK Horror Scene
“Stewart and co-writer Stephen Scarlata’s script is quick to establish the lingering animosity between the semi-estranged brothers, but fairly vague at clarifying the cosmological principles underlying the unusual board game. Not that refined logic is required to pull off the campy premise, so it helps that the principal cast, all boasting B-movie horror credits, can at least generate moderate enthusiasm.” Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
” …this isn’t a non-stop gore fest; Beyond the Gates is surprisingly heartfelt. A great deal of the film focuses on the relationship of the siblings and their various acquaintances. This is where some will undoubtedly say that the movie “takes too long” to get moving, but it’s all important, and you get a better film as a result.” Luke Rodriquez, Modern Horrors
In North America, IFC Midnight released the film in select theaters and on VOD on December 9, 2016. In the UK, it was released on DVD by Signature Entertainment on February 20, 2017.