We at PopHorror have reviewed quite a few Dustin Ferguson films in our time. We’ve checked out Rattlers 2 (2021 – our review), The Beast Beneath (2020 – our review), Moon of the Blood Beast (2019 – our review), Frames of Fear 3 (2020 – our review), Mondo Shock (2017 – our review), Evil Never Dies (2017 – our review), and the short, Demonoids (2017 – our review). Next on our list is the zombie horror, Beyond the Gates of Hell (2022).
A newly married couple purchase a mansion in the countryside to open a bed and breakfast. However, it is revealed that brutal murders has took place previously on the property and someone or something might be lurking in the basement.
Beyond the Gates of Hell was written, directed, and edited by filmmaker Dustin Ferguson, produced by Brad Banacka (The Clown Chainsaw Massacre 2022) and Joseph Kelbie Williamson (Cocaine Cougar 2023). The cast includes Banacka, Brinke Stevens (Slumber Party Massacre 1982), Vida Ghaffari (Miranda Veil 2020 – our review), Erik Anthony Russo (Toilet Zombie Baby Strikes Back 2021 – our review), Traci Burr (Hell Of The Screaming Undead 2023), Eric Larson (The Wrong Tenant 2022), TJ Johnson (Buried In The Backyard TV series), Jennifer Moriarty (Stokes River Haunting 2022), and Robert Lankford (House of Pain 2018).
I’m happy to report that Beyond the Gates of Hell is a tight, well rounded story with a refreshing and well-deserved shoutout to American Horror Story: Murder House. I especially love Jennifer Moriarty’s character, Henrietta, who absolutely channeled Jessica Lange’s Constance Langdon. The isolation of the couple and the size and scope of the building makes those halls seem endless, like something Mary Winchester may have built. The beauty and spookiness of the house itself becomes its own character.
The editing is tight and the story is streamlined. There’s really no padding here, and the film is much better for it.
What Doesn’t Work
I’m not exactly on board with calling Beyond the Gates of Hell a zombie film. There are zombies, but only in about a minute’s worth of screen time. The grainy ‘80s aesthetic is a bit overdone, as well. While the story itself flows nicely here, I’m still not sure why Brinke Steven’s real estate agent character didn’t just buy the house herself when it was on the market. She waited until the couple decide to buy it and then offers them another $100,000 to buy it back from them. Did I miss something?
I love how tight and well-paced Beyond the Gates of Hell is, but again, I wouldn’t call it a zombie film. Check it out if you want to take a trip back to Ryan Murphy’s Murder House.