Thursday 17 February 2022

REVIEW: Beyond Existence - Starring Amelia Clay, Gary MacKay and Vincent Vermignon

Review by Jon Donnis
I am always weary of reviewing films I have never heard of, films that have apparently won awards that I wasn't aware of, and films with a super low budget.

Capital Films have been very honest that they had basically a zero-budget, but understand that there is a difference I think between films that are churned out as low budget films, and films that are made with love from a low budget. I would like to think that Beyond Existence comes under the latter of those two options.

Amelia Clay plays Ellen, a Government agent type, think FBI but in England, Detective Inspector Burnside but with a more serious side. She tracks down a character known as "The Professor" played by Gary MacKay, and sadly not Sergio Marquina. The professor holds a deadly secret, both literally and figuratively. Who is he, what does he want, and what does he have in his briefcase! Ellen is under orders to help The Professor, and it seems that there is an immortal bounty hunter (Vincent Vermignon) who is after The Professor. 

I am deliberately being a bit vague as I don't want to spoil the story. And for a film made with a near zero budget, it is pretty clear that the story needs to be good, because you cannot rely on special effects or big action scenes.
Due to the restraints of near zero budget, the film has to be dialog heavy, so there are long scenes with just two actors talking, in a car, in a cafe, in some abandoned military base, on a hill etc. And this is where the talent of the actors comes into play, luckily Beyond Existence has Amelia Clay and Gary MacKay in the main roles, and these are two outstanding actors, and within the limits of the film, they both take what they are given, and create some excellent storytelling. Without those two in the leads, I don't think the film would have been getting the attention it has.

The Good
Excellent performances by Amelia Clay and Gary MacKay, a decent story, and a film that runs under 80 minutes, I love shorter films.

The Bad
If you are after an action adventure, after reading the synopsis, you will be sorely disappointed. What little special effects there are, look like they were knocked up on a Commodore Amiga 1200. I do wonder why you would want to make a sci fi film with no budget? It is a strange choice.

It is clear the film has limits, a lot of limits, but despite that, the casting of the two main characters was perfect, the performances were great, and the story is a simple sci-fi story.

Taking into account the limitations, I score Beyond Existence a very fair 8/10. I was engaged from start to finish, and I was happy with the end scene.

Review by Jon Donnis

For more information and how to see the film check out