Doctor Strange isn’t the only film inviting viewers to visit a weird — and terrifying — alternative dimension this season.
Horror movie Beyond the Gates stars Graham Skipper (Almost Human) and Chase Williamson (John Dies at the End, the upcoming SiREN) as two estranged brothers who reunite to sift through the contents of their missing dad’s VHS rental store. Among the inventory, they discover an interactive VCR board game, which their father viewed just before he vanished. Intrigued, the pair pop in the tape, press play, and soon discover that, far from an ordinary game, the video is a portal to a nightmarish alternate reality overseen by a sinister hostess, played by Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, the recently released Little Sister), and that in order to save their father’s soul, they must play by her rules.
“Steve Scarlata, my co-writer, who produced Jodorowsky’s Dune, he pitched me this idea of a VCR board game that opens another dimension,” says Beyond the Gates director, Jackson Stewart, whose film recently won the Audience Award at the inaugural Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. “I said, ‘That’s the best idea I’ve ever heard. We have to start writing on that today.’ We started outlining it that afternoon and we were shooting about 11 months from when we first started writing.”
Other Beyond the Gates cast members include Brea Grant (Rob Zombie’s Halloween II), Matt Mercer (the Contracted franchise), Jesse Merlin (FDR: American Badass!), Jesse Welborn (The Crazies), Sara Malakul Lane (Sun Choke), and Henry LeBlanc, who plays the brothers’ father. The film will be released in select theaters, on VOD, and via digital platforms Dec. 9 from IFC Midnight.
See the film’s new trailer, premiering exclusively here, above.