The Beyond (Seven Doors of Death) is Fulci's most critically acclaimed work and it's not hard to see why. It's an intelligent horror film with that dreary oneiric dust that shimmers across the screen. It's visually tempting and an exercise in master lighting and sound progression, but I found myself wanting substance to the body of the film. I did appreciate Fulci's "two cents" on Neurobiology and the attack on the "thought process" by constantly denouncing the hallucinogenic expericences that were occurring all around.
The Beyond is composed of three different sections. Much like most Italian horror, the opening is a flashback to a time of a severely disenchanting land where butchery and crucifixion were carried out. The middle of the film is the "Hey, let's shove a lot of nonsensical gore into a tight space". The body count was entertaining but otherwise useless. I found the "Gate of Hell killing you for finding out its secret" factor quite bothersome after the 3rd random killing.
The ending is a full fledged attack on "happy endings" as it isn't neither a sad or a grand outcome. The result leaves you mystified and in awe. It's part of a void that engulfs everything; a lingering plane of dimension also known as hell. I fancy the way Fulci designed this purgatory. It's barren and littered with mummified bodies (Who are actually hobo's that Fulci bribed with alcohol). I even sniffed out a trace of the same aesthetic used by Lamberto Bava in Demons.
The Beyond is definitely one of his best. It took several attempts for him to create a "masterful" supernatural film with the undead using correct lighting and color filters. The setting is eerie and the gore is in place. The stand alone scenes include a dog ripping out a jugular and a head explosion that has become quite iconic in the gorehound culture. This film was an absolute blast and I think I favor this over Suspiria, albeit the soundtrack was infinitely better.