Brothers Gordon (Skipper) and John (Williamson) reluctantly meet up to pack away the contents of their father’s video store after he’s been missing and presumed dead for seven months. The brothers have grown apart and it seems the only thing they have in common is their love for the old days of video. They decide to explore their dad’s office, finding a video board game called ‘Beyond the Gates’ that opens up a portal to another world. Gordon’s girlfriend (Grant) joins them, creeped out by the game’s hostess (Crampton) who seems a little too aware of them.
The game has deadly consequences, but it won’t let them finish playing no matter how hard they try. The brothers realise finishing the game holds the key to saving their father, although it might kill them all in the process. Imagine Jumanji as a horror and you get the gist.
Beyond the Gates is a nice little throwback to the ‘80s – a homage to VHS stores and those video board games (remember Atmosfear?) that sadly have been criminally left behind while lesser deserving culture has made a comeback under the guide of retro. It does well with its limited budget but deserves to be gorier and scarier, and could easily have a sequel.
The movie is definitely one for horror buffs; enjoyable and carefully curated with knowing winks to its audience. Jackson has a bright future.
BEYOND THE GATES / DIRECTOR: JACKSON STWEART / SCREENPLAY: STEPHEN SCARLETA, JACKSON STEWART / STARRING: GRAHAM SCIPPER, CHASE WILLIAMSON, BREA GRANT, JUSTIN WELBORN, BARBARA CRAMPTON