The Banshee Chapter
H.P. Lovecraft’s From Beyond gets a 21st century revamp in Blair Erickson's solid first feature. When a journalist investigates the disappearance of a friend, she discovers a drug that puts users in contact with malevolent entities from another dimension.
Opting for a restrained, serious tone over a jokey gorefest, Erickson works hard to maintain a creepy atmosphere. Setting much of the action at night in abandoned houses and underground labs, he delivers some seriously unsettling moments. Katia Winter (TV's Sleepy Hollow) is an engaging lead, ably supported by Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs) as a Hunter S. Thompson-style writer in over his head.
What's really going on might not hold up past the credits, but it almost doesn’t matter when the film gets so much right. This is a polished, well-made horror with some great ideas and enough scares to keep fans happy. Once you've watched it, you might want to keep the lights on. [Scott McKellar]