In the summer of 1935, 9-year-old twins Niles and Holland Perry live with their family on a Connecticut farm. Their loving grandmother Ada has taught them something called "the game." A number of accidents begin happening, and it seems to Niles that Holland is responsible. It is Ada who begins to see the truth, and she is the only one who can stop this macabre game of murder. Written by
What can I say? This is an excellent film! I caught the beginning of "The Other" a few months ago on AMC, and of course, it was coming on late on a Saturday night...I didn't get to finish it, but what I saw intrigued me enough to look for the film. As I began to search the web, I found that the movie was based on an out-of-print book by Thomas Tryon. I picked up the book first, and was mesmerized! I also bought a copy for my mother, a bona-fide horror guru. I began talking up the book amongst my friends, many of whom were surprised that I claimed to be a horror fan and had never seen the film!
The movie has a definite look and feel to it, and Mulligan is to be commended for it. From the opening credits, featuring the incomparable Jerry Goldsmith's score, to the opening scenes in the woods, you know that no good is going to come of this. I won't spoil the film for those (and there's no doubt many) that haven't seen it. If you enjoy a good, solid psychological horror story, you will not be disappointed. If you're looking for blood and gore, don't bother.
There's solid performances from the twins, and of course, from Uta Hagen. My one true complaint comes from the ending...it seemed a little rushed, and deviated from the book too much, in a production that otherwise had followed the book quite faithfully. Tryon did write the screenplay himself, based on his own book, so how much can one complain about it? I just feel that the film would've benefited from another ten minutes, ending exactly like the book, including the surprising (and wide-open for interpretation) last chapter.
I adore discovering a film or book that I've never heard of, and, once discovering it, find that the movie has a lot of fans. This is another such movie. It deserves to be on DVD in the worst kind of way. Fans of thrilling, psychological, suspenseful movies will be well served by "The Other." If you haven't seen it, or read it, you should.
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