Though it doesn't offer much coherence in its story or happenings, Fulci's 'The Beyond' offers its own strange rewards in its style, suspense, gore effects and its bizarre finish. First saw this on re-release at the Angelica in NYC in '98 and its midnight screening certainly achieved its intent.
No filmmaker has captured a nightmare (or hell) in this medium and combined it with the sensibility of H.P. Lovecraft as effectively as Lucio Fulci did in The Beyond. Don't watch the film for its story or even a coherent plot, but rather, for his house of horrors approach to its atmosphere and style. One of the best nonsensical artworks the horror genre has ever produced, and a masterpiece if on the same wavelength
My second Fulci, and I get him now. I understand why some people hate this, because there's only a hint of a plot with a stream of gruesome images. I was personally lured in by the eerie atmosphere, the disorienting camerawork, great score, endearingly clumsy practical effects, and the bleak and strangely beautiful ending. When you think about how Fulci admired Artaud, The Beyond's style makes more sense.
There are number of things I could complain about here. Questionable dialogue, stilted performances, a disjointed plot etc but the film's biggest sin is its cartoonish practical effects. Instead of being unsettled or disturbed by the set pieces, I was amused by how unauthentic it all looked. Lucio Fulci may have succeeded in creating a creepy atmosphere but this isn't high art or grand entertainment.