So, what's Beyond the Black Rainbow about? It looks interesting but if it managed to f*ck you up I don't want to risk googling it and witnessing horrifying screenshots from the movie.
Beyond the Black Rainbow is this Canadian sci fi/horror film written and directed by Panos Cosmatos. It started off in film festivals and was eventually picked up for US distribution. Basically it’s the story of this New Age cult leader Dr. Arboria, his
protégé Dr. Barry Nyle, and Elena - a young girl that Nyle keeps imprisoned as his research experiment in this really bizarre, incredibly disturbing laboratory beneath the Arboria Institute. Elena’s a psychic, and theoretically incredibly powerful. She’s mute (irrc) and the only way she can communicate is telepathically. So she can’t talk, she’s being experimented on daily. Nyle also has this glowing triangle that he uses to suppress her abilities, so she’s powerless.
Anyways, Elena keeps on trying to escape, and Nyle keeps stopping her, again and again and again into infinity. On top of that no one knows that she’s there, and Nyle’s a legit sociopath: everyone thinks he’s charming. The movie is infused with this incredibly claustrophobic, panic-inducing sort of hopelessness, intermingled with acid-trip, existential despair and absolutely wtf imagery. Because when Elena does escape, it’s like, the things you think are inside her head are actually real. There are these creatures called Sentionauts who are basically 7/8ft tall:
And when they take off their helmets, they look like this:
I’m not doing the Sentionauts justice, but I swear to the salt gods after you see the way that they move, the reveal of their bone-white baby faces and just how goddamn relentless they are, this stuff will haunt your dreams.
Beyond the Black Rainbow fucked me up because it was the worst trip ever. It wasn’t gory in the traditional sense, but incredibly psychological and existential on top of really well done body horror, and the mood just gets to you. Like the claustrophobia and acid-trip weirdness of Elena’s situation just sinks into your skin, and you end up thinking about it for days.
Beyond the Black Rainbow also got to me because it was eerily close to a visualization of my own head: like when I’m writing, these are the kind of things I see and envision. There’s always been this distance between me and my writing. I’m very desensitized to the emotional impact of it, and this was my first time coming face to face with that kind of imagery. It’s incredibly weird seeing it from the consumer’s end.
Tl;dr: watch Beyond the Black Rainbow. It was too close to my own head-space for comfort, and it might leave you feeling sick for days, but overall it was a good movie. Great soundtrack, too. My only complaint is that it could have been thirty minutes shorter.