Beyond the Door – original title: Chi sei? and also released as The Devil Within Her – is a 1974 Italian supernatural horror film directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis (Tentacles) from a screenplay co-written with an uncredited Alex Rebar (The Incredible Melting Man). The movie stars Juliet Mills, Richard Johnson (The Haunting; Zombie Flesh Eaters), Gabriele Lavia and Elizabeth Turner.
Detailing a woman possessed by a demon, Beyond The Door was labeled a rip-off of The Exorcist. Warner Bros. promptly filed a lawsuit, claiming copyright infringement. The lawsuit failed after it was determined Warner Bros. had no rights to key horror scenes depicted in The Exorcist. The film became an independent hit, earning an estimated $15 million at the US box office.
This meant Beyond The Door paved the way for several other “Exorcist rip-offs” (many originating in Italy too) to see successful release in the US and elsewhere. Some of these include Abby, The House of Exorcism (a bile-spewing re-edit of Lisa and the Devil), The Anticrist, The Sexorcist, Naked Exorcism, and the Turkish Seytan.
“Though the first hour or so contains some mildly creepy horror imagery and plenty of unintentional laughs and thus isn’t completely worthless (though hardly “good”), the final 45 minutes where Jessica is confined to her bedroom is a slow, excruciating, derivative bore that pretty much wipes one’s memory clean of some of the funnier stuff that came before.” The Bloody Pit of Horror
” …the film can become talky in spurts, but again, the number of unique and bizarre visuals makes up for that and the straight-faced performances of seasoned vets Mills and Johnson certainly bring the modest production up more than a few levels. The score by Franco Micalizzi is cemented in the 1970s, but that only attributes to its retro chic status today, capping off what makes Beyond the Door essential and irresistible Euro horror.” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In
Cast and characters:
- Juliet Mills … Jessica Barrett
- Gabriele Lavia … Robert Barrett
- Richard Johnson … Dimitri
- Nino Segurini … Dr. George Staton
- Elizabeth Turner … Barbara Staton
- Barbara Fiorini … Gail Barrett
- Carla Mancini … Mrs. Francis
- David Colin Jr. … Ken Barrett
- Jonathan T. Tran … Dr. Tran
- Edward L. Montoro … The Devil (voice)
De Paolis Studios, Rome
San Francisco, California
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