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average rating is 4 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Nov 5, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Fredrik S. Hana
Written by:
Fredrik S. Hana, Jamie Turville
Thomas Aske Berg, Nikias Chryssos, Espen Hana

If you like your nightmares to be populated by beings from beyond the stars rather than the grave, then FROM.BEYOND is likely to be right up your galaxy. Mixing the retro and futuristic, this experimental short imagining mankind’s first interactions with extraterrestrial life is unnervingly brilliant in what it does and doesn’t show.


Told through a mixture of kaleidoscopic visuals, found-footage and simulated news broadcasts, the film tells the story of alien life interacting with mankind in a not-too-distant past somewhere in the Soviet bloc. Scientists, politicians and everyday people try and make sense of a world forever changed by grotesque visitors – and whether they are friend or foe, or something more…


Defining FROM.BEYOND is a mystery of its own. The film is boldly experimental, bending genres, styles, languages and more to create a disturbing and unidentifiable transcendent ride – akin more to a nightmarish hallucinogenic trip than traditional narrative. Influences from Cloverfield and Arrival can be seen, but pinning the film down to an easy comparison is futile – Fredrik Hana’s creation is something truly unique.


The presentation of the film allows its unconventional story approach to work. Descending the viewer into the past allows for crackly footage and antiquated technology to be the method by which the alien creatures are brought to life. The creature designs and practical effects are wonderful – creating a macabre and intimidating breed that is barely conceivable as a sentient being. Achieving an authentic otherworldliness is critical in landing the plot’s conceit of human interaction with the unknown – and makes for both believable hostility from some and stomach-curdling fascination with the ‘openness’ (to say the least…) of others. Further mind-bending visual choices, such as omitting the facial features of a politician commenting on the new world, further create a sense of unease and offer commentary on how humankind, wherever it is in the world, would likely react to the events of the film.


A special mention must be given to Anders Hana for the film’s music, and Nils Viken for sound design, who conjure disturbing and creepiness audio that encompasses the audience and plunges them into the film’s world. A sound as simple as basic typing becoming shiver-inducing as global confusion begins to become clear, and the crackling, ticking sounds of the creatures activate every flight-nerve in the body. It is Hana and Viken’s work that puts the finishing touch to the film’s full-frontal assault on the psyche.


FROM.BEYOND’s mad-science experimenting with genre and effects is worth watching purely for the novel value, but the vision of director Fredrik Hana in building a worryingly authentic world not far from our own is what elevates this short to greatness. It’s scarier than most horrors, and more experimental and contemplative than most sci-fi. Add in brilliant visual and sound design, and the film is a must-see – though you may need a lie down afterwards.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film
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