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""SHOCK" was Italian director Mario Bava's last film. Retitled as "Beyond the Door II" for it's original US release, Anchor Bay's new DVD features a widescreen print of the film under it's original title. (Actually, the sharp noise the film makes when the title hits the screen made me jump in "shock"!) It's a fun little possession movie and features several very creepy moments...the standout being the shot where the possessed little boy runs up to his Mom (Daria Nicolodi) and suddenly turns into the ghost of her dead husband...all done without effects or cgi. All in all, the film doesn't really break any new ground, but it's a worthy last film from the original italian horror maestro. The print shows some grain and some visual noise (mostly in the dark scenes)...it's not bad, but it is not up to par with earlier AB titles. Extras include a short but interesting interview with Lamberto Bava, the international trailer, and a couple of US tv spots (one as a double-bill with "The Dark"!), plus the usual talent bios. A pretty basic package, but definitely a Must for Bava fans."
A good movie.
Don Cheeto | Bakersfield, CA | 03/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Creepy atmosphere, great soundtrack, interesting story. A family moves back to a house with old memories. Strange things begin to happen as the woman's son begins to behave strangely. I don't want to go deeper into the story because it will ruin the movie. It is definetely worth watching, especially if you are a fan of Italian Cinema. I would recommend, worthy addition to your horror collection."
Strong thriller from the Italian Master
A. Griffiths | London | 04/03/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film came late in Mario Bava's career (actually his last film, I think?) and suffers slightly from the move into modern territory, leaving it resembling too many other films around it at the time. But generally it's a pretty solid thriller with some very good moments. Daria Nicolodi plays Dora, a woman recovering from a breakdown. She has a young son and a new partner, and together they move into the house that Dora used to live in when her first husband was still alive...not a good start eh? As you might expect things don't go well for the trio...Dora has nightmares and hallucinations, her son acts strangely, and her new husband Bruno always seems to be away working when she needs him most.
What we have here is quite a typical "is she going mad or is it all real?" scenario, which has been handled many times before. Bava, however handles the material quite deftly. He picks out lots of small oddities such as the bizarre ceramic hand sculpture that Dora pores over, some booby-trapped piano keys (ouch!), the weirdness of the young son playing around, and when seen from Dora's viewpoint, you can quite easily believe that she's being haunted by something very unnatural...or is she?
Well I'm not telling, and hopefully you can watch this film without being aware of the plot explanation, because it deserves to be experienced fresh. Bava directs the action with some skill, and the acting is pretty good, with Daria Nicolodi making a convincing traumatized victim. Sadly the English language dubbing weakens the impact of many scenes, but the visuals are good and Dora's dream sequences are all quite creepy. Plus the film boasts one really, REALLY good jump-scare, which I'm sure you will remember, as it's a very clever one. It also has quite a bloody finale, to keep gore fans happy.
The Anchor Bay DVD is a good copy to buy, it's uncut, restoring some sequences that were trimmed from earlier VHS releases, especially those involving the young son's behaviour (I think you'll be able to spot the ones I mean!), and nicely presented too. Worth owning, even if it's not really that big a "shock" film, but it delivers an entertaining weird experience anyway."
My favorite Bava film
Charlie | Philadelphia, PA USA | 08/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
The only other Bava films I've seen are Bay of Blood and Black Sabbath, but Shock is my favorite. It seems to usually get lukewarm reviews from critics and horror movie fans for some reason. I remember seeing it on TV under the title Beyond The Door 2 and it freaked me out when I was younger. Some of the dialog is laughable, but maybe that's due to the dubbing and translation. It might sound much better in the original Italian. There's not a whole lot of gore, but enough surprises and weird imagery to keep one interested.
The dvd by anchor bay is very nice. It's great to see this movie in widescreen. (Italian horror films used to get such horrible pan and scan treatment on vhs back in the day.) It was also very cool to see the original Italian trailer and American TV spots. If you like this movie, you should get it as soon as possible because it's out of print and the price is only going to go up."
L. Benavides | Visalia, California USA | 12/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this on ebay just because it was a Mario Bava film. I'd heard about it before but when I watched it I was very impressed. This has got some of the best surrealistic photography I've ever seen..(the floating blade scene). The story's been done before but the kid in the film was pretty darn creepy! And watch out for that one scene with him! You've been warned - - you'll jump 5 feet out of your seat! THAT alone was worth the price I paid for it!"