Beyond the Walls (2016 film)
Au-delà des Murs (2016), AKA Beyond the Walls
"What have you done to be in this house?" A woman who inherits an abandoned house from an unknown benefactor, after hearing noises on her first night in the house, knocks a hole in the wall and crawls through to discover an inescapable, infinite, labyrinthine "house."
- Release Date: 2016
- Country/Language: France, French
- Genres/Technical: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Art/Experimental, TV mini-series
- Setting: Modern France, Dreamlands
- Runtime: 2 hr 36 min
- Starring: Veerle Baetens, François Deblock, Geraldine Chaplin
- Creators: Hervé Hadmar, Marc Herpoux
- Producer/Production Co: Lincoln TV
- View Trailer: (link)
- TVTropes: (link)
- IMDB Page: (link)
- Rated: (not rated) (equivalent to TV-MA for Violence, mild Adult Content and Profanity, brief Nudity, Sexual Situations)
A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:
- SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; vaguely similar in tone, could be a very loose adaptation)
The series reminded me in a very small way of "Dreams in the Witch House (fiction)" with a bit of Lovecraft's Dreamlands to it and perhaps just a hint of the novel House of Leaves, though I noticed no explicit references to either to suggest that the resemblance was in any way deliberate or the result of any actual Lovecraftian inspiration for the series. The "First Men", apparently spirits who have spent vast amounts of time in the house, and the weird labyrinthine Dreamland of the house itself, seem like they could easily be looted for Call of Cthulhu RPG scenario material, especially for scenarios that touch on the Dreamlands.
Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.
- Horror-Movie-a-Day, (link) - "...A fairly well-balanced mix of many genres, offering just enough world-building to make it compelling but not over-explaining everything and exhausting all of its potential... highly worth your time even with its peculiar three episode structure... it's unfortunate that the 3rd episode... is the weakest overall, but the closing moments tie it all up nicely and it's more just a testament to how good the first two are that it seems like a lesser entry...."
- Gareth Jones at Dread Central, (link) - "Most immediately striking are the series’ production values, which are astronomical. The visuals are at once creepy, absorbing and poetic, feeding off of the stunning set design to generate a distinctly fairytale-like atmosphere.... Occasionally breathtaking, sporadically frightening and consistently enthralling, Beyond the Walls is a magnificent dive into the darkly fantastical that no genre fan should miss...."
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
A reclusive young speech therapist unexpectedly inherits an old house from a man who died thirty years ago and mentioned her in his will. Despite being unnerved by inheriting such a prize from a man she has never heard of, she takes on the challenge of renovating the decrepit building and moves in. While she is working on the house, she sometimes hears noises that seem to come from beyond the walls of her new home which grate on her nerves until she one day decides to take matters a step further, using a hammer to violently break through one of the walls that she believes the noises originate in. What she finds behind the wall comes as a surprise: in a small corridor between the walls of her home, there is a door hiding a staircase that leads to an elaborate series of dark, candlelit cellars that no blueprint of the house shows. Sh soon finds out that she is lost, as the staircase she used to climb down into the maze seems to have disappeared, leaving her alone with the "First Men" - strange and dangerous vampiric creatures that wander its unending hallways - and a mysterious young veteran of a war that ended decades ago who has learned to survive in the strange netherworld and has explored and mapped many of its passages over the years, trying to find a fabled "red door" which is rumored by the denizens of the dark world to be its only exit. Before reaching the door, the two explorers must confront their tragic and haunted pasts, and face the nightmarish, doomed, and hungry creatures that have in their despair made the hallways their permanent home.
Comments, Trivia, Dedication
Associated Mythos Elements
- TO DO
- location: Other Side
- setting: Dreamlands
- race: "First Men", ghostly/vampiric/ghoulish beings which are all that remain of humans who have stayed too long in a Dreamland where time and space work differently....
- When a contact inherits a strange house, the investigators are hired to explore its endless passages and rescue the contact's loved ones who have gotten lost in the strange world the passages connect to, and is threatened by the strange beings that inhabit it.