“BEYOND THE DOOR”— Demonic Possession LIVES and GROWS


Demonic Possession LIVES and GROWS

Amos Lassen

Filmmaker Ovidio G. Assonitis brings us a gloriously wild take on “The Exorcist” with “Beyond the Door” starring Juliet Mills as Jessica Barrett, a young mother who starts to develop strange behaviors whilst pregnant with her third child. Jessica shows signs of full-blown demonic possession (complete with projectile vomiting and fully-rotating head). Film critic Robert Hebert described this film as “disgusting”, “scary trash” and “maddeningly inappropriate”. Arrow Video now brings us the Blu ray and it is quite a film.

Jessica is married to a record producer (Gabriele Lavia) and is mother of two foul-mouthed children. She is pregnant but senses something strange about the baby brought on by the reappearance in her life of an old lover Dmitri (Richard Johnson).  The devil has promised to extend Dmitri’s life if he makes sure Jessica delivers her devil spawn. As her behavior goes from bizarre mood swings and foul language to speaking in a male voice along with the head-spinning and telekinetic phenomena, her husband tries to figure out what is happening and Dmitri pretends to share his concern in order to get close to Jessica and the baby.

The film takes elements from both “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist”. The actors approach their roles with conviction; especially Mills even when her bizarre behavior seems more ridiculous and ominous.

Over the years “Beyond the Door” has been released under a variety of titles like “The Devil within Her” in the UK, “Diabolica” in Japan and its Italian title was originally Chi sei?, which translates into Who Are You? The plot revolves around a woman named Jessica Barrett who is forced to deal with demonic possession while the son of Satan is growing inside of her. One of the subplots involves Dimitri whose motivations are never fully explained and his existence is ambiguous. Visually the San Francisco and Italian locations lend greatly to the films atmosphere. The specials effects scenes involving Jessica Barrett’s demonic possession are all extremely well done as they never come off looking cheap or tacky.


Where’s Jessica?” asks her worried husband, when she disappears during a birthday party for the children. He finds her in the bathroom, vomiting blood. She tells him that she feels a little weak and they agree she ought to get more rest. Parts of the movie play almost as comedy and unfortunately for the film, the laughs seem almost appropriate.

In the earlier parts of the movie, mysterious hands reach out to touch shoulders in darkened rooms, and it turns out it’s just the husband patting his wife. In the later stages, though, when Jessica begins to turn green and talk wildly, the movie becomes disgusting. There is green vomit, brown vomit, blood, levitations and other manifestations of the devil.

Jessica’s short order pregnancy that proceeds so rapidly that she’s three months pregnant within a week. The mysterious stranger seems to have the answer, and after saving her husband from being run over by a truck we see that “it is all trash, but it’s scary trash”. It is entertainment if this is your thing.

Beyond the Door is one of the Top Grossing Movies in the country right now. Why? Maybe because at some dumb, fundamental level, it really does live it up to, or down to, its promise. It’s all trash, but it’s scary trash.

     —Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

Many of the special effect scenes do hold most of what they set out to do…frighten and impact the viewer. Beyond the Door certainly doesn’t disappoint with the specialized subject matter.

     —Wee Willie Wicked, HorrorNews.net

Bonus Materials

  • Limited to 3,000 units
  • Brand new 2K restoration of the extended Uncut English Export Version
  • Exclusive bonus disc containing the alternate US Theatrical Version and Italy Possessed, a brand-new feature-length documentary on Italian exorcism movies!
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach
  • Reversible fold-out poster
  • Perfect-bound collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by John Martin and Alessio di Rocco
  • Brand new 2K restoration of the Uncut English Export Version, released as Devil Within Her (108 mins)
  • High Definition Blu-rayTM (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed mono audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • The Devil and I – a newly-filmed interview with director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis
  • Barrett’s Hell – a newly-filmed interview with cinematographer Roberto D’Ettorre Piazzoli
  • Beyond the Music – a newly-filmed interview with composer Franco Micalizzi
  • The Devil’s Face – a newly-filmed interview with camera operator Maurizio Maggi
  • Motel and Devils – a newly-conducted audio interview with actor Gabriele Lavia
  • Alternate Italian Chi Sei? opening titles
  • Alternate Behind the Door VHS opening titles
  • Alternate Japanese Diabolica opening and ending sequence
  • Trailers, TV and Radio Spots
  • Image Gallery
  • Brand new 2K restoration of the US Theatrical Version, released as Beyond the Door (99 mins)
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed mono audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Italy Possessed – a brand new feature-length documentary on the history of Italian Exorcist rip-offs, including interviews with key filmmakers such as Sergio Martino, Alberto De Martino, Pupi Avati, Marcello Avallone, Ovidio G. Assonitis and many more!

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