The Beyond

Netflix streaming, Amazon rental | 2018 | Reviewer: Bill Braier

Unique Sci-Fi Concept and Amazing CG Visuals Dulled by Documentary Style

Clever sci-fi concept and amazing visuals of aliens, new worlds, a worm hole, and advanced robot-like humans were wasted by a documentary style that slows down the action and pace. As a Visual Effects supervisor and producer, Hasraf (HaZ) Dulull has demonstrated his abilities in several sci-fi shorts, Project Kronos, I.R.I.S and Sync. Winner of the 2017 Atlanta Sci-fi Film Festival Jury Award and the Berlin Sci-fi Film fest award for best special effects, this film had promise. As Director and writer HaZ used the documentary style to keep within a small budget, wasting the talents and experience of a great cast, including David Baille, Jane Perry, and Noeleen Comiskey.

The story of aliens coming to earth is told by interviewing a few scientists and astronauts who talk to the camera with a purposely poor sound quality to give a realistic feel to the story. It was hard to watch. Aliens and a worm hole appear but one scientist is casually interviewed as she has lunch in her backyard patio. In big budget Interstellar, the story is partially told through Matthew McConaughey an astronaut who attempts flight into a worm hole to find a new planet to replace a dying earth. The Beyond imaginative concepts could have used a better script. Also, the army men with howitzer size guns mounted on a jeep pointed to the aliens in the sky was fine for a 1950’s War of the Worlds but it just doesn’t work here.

A behind the scenes featurette shows how the cinematographer accomplished some big budget shots on a shoe string. The special effects wizard, HaZ, created the much of the effects and scenery on his home computer system. If you are a sci-fi fan, check out The Beyond for its beautiful and unusual special effects and sci-fi concepts. Maybe fast forward through some of the documentary interviews.