DIRECTOR: Johannes Roberts
Sarah Wayne Callies
Maria and Michael are a married American couple who have moved and are now living in India with their young son and daughter. After a tragic car accident takes the life of their son, they begin to rebuild their lives when their live-in nanny informs Maria that there is a sacred place where you can scatter the ashes of your dead loved ones and get one final goodbye with them. The only rule is that you must never open the door to the dead. Maria ignores this rule and unleashes an evil, unlike anything she's ever witnessed.
When I initially sat down to watch The Other Side Of The Door, I went into this movie completely blind. The film came out in 2016 with a whimper and not a bang. I hadn't even seen a trailer for the movie before watching it. So I was completely unaware of the film I was about to watch. I wasn't even sure if what I was about to witness was supernatural, slasher or a monster movie. I was just aware of the movie's name and the poster with the kid and the keyhole for an eye.
What I really enjoyed about The Other Side Of The Door was the location and where the film was set. I was immediately in awe of cinematography. I think I enjoyed this element above anything else in the film. The fact that the movie is set in India really lends it a completely different atmosphere to all those other American supernatural horror films. It's also the same reaction I had when viewing the American remake of The Grudge. That feeling of being lost in translation and the complete unknown of living abroad gives this film an element of unease.
Visually, I found The Other Side Of The Door to be a worthwhile watch. The film has a lot of gorgeous shots of the bustling streets of India. We have a few scenes where our main character catches a train across the country which lends the film some beautiful cinematography. The moment where Maria opens the gateway and enters the realm of the dead, I thought it looked morbidly beautiful and very eerie. The Other Side Of The Door is a gorgeous looking Horror film for the most part, and I think that's down to it being set in India.
Another aspect of The Other Side Of The Door that I really enjoyed was the storyline. I felt that while a lot of what happens towards the end of the movie comes across as quite generic and has a feeling of deja vu and that I had seen it before. The temple and ritual that allows these people to make contact with their dead relatives and the rule of not opening the door or gateway between life and death were quite amusing. It felt like an original touch in the realm of supernatural horror. I quite enjoyed this part of the plot. It's just a shame that it all falls apart towards the end and becomes entirely predictable.
When it comes to tension and suspense, I think The Other Side Of The Door wasn't scary at all. I didn't find myself ever chilled to the bone. The movie relies heavily on jump scares and loud noises to frighten the audience and a lot of those times where these tactics are used, the scenes didn't really scare me. The most exciting moment where the movie does anything remotely unsettling is early on in a flashback scene where Maria chooses to save her daughter and leaves her son to drown. The scene is probably the most heartwrenching scene in the film.
The main monster in this film was also interesting regarding design. I'm not exactly up on my Indian gods, but I quite enjoyed the look of this villain. I thought the four arms covering the eyes only to reveal more arms whenever she took her hands away from her eyes was ingenious. I wasn't a fan of the god doing the glitchy, bone break thing that was used in The Grudge and every other Japanese, American remake. This felt like a blatant copy, and that annoyed me whenever the monster gave chase at the end of the film.
I think the biggest problem with the movie is that Maria is the catalyst for everything that happens to her and her family. She is given the strict instructions, not to open the door to the dead no matter how much they beg her. So she does it. We wouldn't have had a movie if she didn't. But it's hard to feel sorry for the character when she lets this evil energy into her life. I can't sympathise with her but feel ultimately sorry for everyone around her as they perish for her mistakes.
When it comes to the acting side of things with The Other Side Of The Door, I found the chemistry between Sarah Wayne Callies and Jeremy Sisto to be okay. I think both worked well off each other. I wasn't fussed on either of their performances. I have to ask, though. Does Sarah Wayne Callies ever star in a movie or television series where she plays a good mother? It appears from the several things that I've seen her in, her niche is to play the flawed mother. She seems like she shouldn't be allowed children in anything I've ever seen her in.
Lastly, the standout performance for me in The Other Side Of The Door came in the form Suchitra Pillai who stars as the live-in nanny Piki. I thought her character was the most well rounded and had the most depth. I was drawn to her character every single time she was on screen. I also thought both child actors were excellent. Both delivered decent performances and wouldn't be surprised if both go onto bigger and better things in the future.
DEATH TOLL: 4
BLOOD AND GORE:
- Decomposing bird.
- A dog is stabbed to death.
- Someone is stabbed in the stomach.
- Broken neck in a roadside accident.
- Burning corpse and rotting corpses are seen.
- Someone drowns.
- A child drowns in a car accident.
The Other Side Of The Door has a few interesting ideas to add to the Supernatural movie. Setting the film in India also gives the movie a nice touch that adds a visual flair to the film that may not be found in a lot of its American counterparts. The film also has a slightly impressive looking monster. The movie, however, lacks any real suspense or scares and the film falls into predictability towards the end. The Other Side Of The Door is worth a watch but don't go in expecting anything groundbreaking.