“Beyond the Grave” is a very unusual art-house horror that borrows influence from the spaghetti westerns and the experimental cinema from the 70’s. It is the first feature by Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro who directed the short The Soul Detective, starred by David Lynch. Also in his filmography is the short film Back to Room 666, starred by Wim Wenders.
In a devastated post-apocalyptic world where the rules of reality are transformed by magic and madness, a vengeful police officer searches for a possessed serial killer. He finds in his way groups of survivors, some violent, some struggling to get by in this new place full of mystical dangers where humanity seems on the brink of extinction.
Shooter and Nina, a couple of teenagers are the first living souls to cross paths with the Officer on his quest for the Dark Rider, a mystical man who has cost the lives of several people. The younglings have lost loved ones ‘to the killer and they seek revenge. Advised by the Officer to let go of it, they insist on being a part of the quest.
The Officer and the Teenage Couple bond and go forward in this empty world. Always following the Returners, the living dead, who travels toward the places where The Rider has been, they find themselves at the risk of slaughter. The Officer decides to teach the teenagers how to shoot so they can defend themselves in the future.
The first signs of humanity they encounter are Franco, Adriene and Ashley, a trio that managed to survive in a school far from any civilization. The Officer, Shooter and Nina take place among the new survivors for a few days. The teenagers and the trio find a lot in common between then, but the Officer stays away. Distant from the others he only interacts when conflict arises with Ashley. The Officer, Shooter and Nina decide to continue their quest for the Dark Rider.
After some time on the road they find the Dark Rider in a Psycho Ward, with two companions, the Angel and the Indian. The Dark Rider is in a new form, different from the form that both the Officer and the Teenagers knew him. The Dark Rider and his companions subdue the Teenagers and force the Officer to surrender. The Dark Rider tortures the Officer, kills Shooter and orders the Indian to kill Nina. With the teenagers dead, the Dark Rider and his companions leave the Officer alone bleeding to death.
The Officer wakes up in the school, with Franco nearby. The Officer, the only survivor of the encounter with the Dark Rider, is given home at the school so he can rebound from the battle. He uses the time to train and together with Franco, Adriene and Ashley he helps to defend the school from outside harms. Even with the help of the Officer, Adriene is bitten by a returner and commits suicide. Ashley betrays the group and helps the Dark Rider to find the school.
After killing Ashley, the Dark Rider and his companions invade the school grounds. They battle with the Officer and Franco and both Angel and the Dark Rider are killed. The Dark Rider says a couple of magic words that make him switch bodies with the Indian, who runs away.
The Officer goes after the Indian to discover that Franco is the new Dark Rider. The Officer kills the Indian and does a ritual so the Dark Rider must come to his presence, for a final face-off.
The battle that ensues is the re-encounter of two old enemies, The Officer and the Rider, trying to settling debts older than time. In a final duel, they fight a battle of the not-so-good versus absolute evil.
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