Panos Cosmatos, Canada, 2010, 110 min.
Before: I don’t know much about this film. I’ve seen it on various film lists, but the images and description made it seem like it was going to be weird for weird’s sake, which I hate. But it’s been compared to Cronenberg, so that’s a plus!
After: Beyond the Black Rainbow opens with a vintage 70’s film strip. An advertisement for a cult-like wellness center, Arboria, that promises to deliver members true happiness.
Oh, how wrong they were. For the characters, and, unfortunately, for the viewer as well. This film is a slog. Its visual aesthetic is a claustrophobic second-rate Kubrick clone and its soundtrack is composed of the same brain-numbing repetitive sounds.
The story, without giving too much away, is about a young girl being held for mysterious reasons in the heart of this organization. There are some twists and turns from there, but what happens isn’t very interesting or original.
There isn’t much I can recommend here. The pace is slow, and without any interesting direction or writing, it’s quite excruciating to watch. It just feels like a poor copy of various cult films from the past fifty years.
So many of them did it better: 2001, Altered States, Suspiria, Begotten, Scanners, Solaris. Instead of watching Beyond the Black Rainbow, watch one of those instead.