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Like, seriously. Here we have a film with a plot that genuinely sounds
decent but the filmmakers are incapable of pulling off. Sound familiar?
Well that is because this has happened already this year with The
Forest.. but The other side of the Door manages to be even worse.
Horror films used to be inventive and fun in a twisted way, but is that
now impossible to pull off?!
The plot involves a woman who's son is killed in a terrible and tragic accident, she discovers she can communicate again with him through an ancient Indian temple, but is warned to never open the door. Of course, if you warn somebody in a cliché horror movie not to do something they are totally gonna do it and she does which brings all the spirits into the world of the living. It could have been done so well.. but i put emphasis on the COULD. First of all the son is evil now. Literally a line of dialogue is "he is evil". Now, correct me if I'm wrong but this was never explained.. ever. Are we supposed to just look at him and say "yeah that makes sense considering he's dead". There was no hint to this when he was alive and no back story.
Unexplained things like this happened a lot in this film and it really bugged me. Nothing was ever scary, not even the jump scares made me jump, which is a bad sign to begin with. Not to mention i drifted off many times for a few seconds over the course of the film.. which should never happen if i am enjoying something. By that i mean i did not enjoy any of this film. The premise is great but the way it was executed just felt so wrong. So in the end, this film is just another cliché horror garbage fest that i will end up forgetting about by the end of the week probably. I really hope i get the horror i crave by the end of the year, 10 Cloverfield Lane is why i remain hopeful.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I wasn't aware of the existence of this until about a week and a half ago, but I guess it helps watching a movie without any expectations or bias. Although it's not groundbreaking horror, The Other Side of the Door is an still efficient ghost story. The film follows a couple, Maria and Michael, who live in harmony in India until a car accident kills their son, Oliver. Desperate for closure, Maria learns of a ritual where she can speak to her son one last time. She travels to an ancient temple where a mysterious door acts as a portal between the world of the living and the dead. Her only warning is to not open the door, but, in typical horror movie fashion, Maria opens the door. Oliver's soul is brought back to the world of the living, but something else is trying to reclaim his soul. In terms of scares, The Other Side of the Door is inconsistent at best. There are a couple of genuinely scary scenes, but there are a few more that just cop out on a jump scare. One really great and scary thing about the movie is the demon trying to reclaim Oliver's soul. It's creepy as hell and is reminiscent of Sadako or Kayako. Another thing that salvages the film and makes it watchable is its great story. Maria's story of depression and desperation gives the plot an emotional edge while the Hindu themes and symbolism make it unique for an American film. The movie had a similar vibe to The Grudge in that it used another country's culture to create a disturbing atmosphere for its characters. The ending is actually great and pretty shocking, too. It's not the best "American goes to a foreign country and s*** goes down" horror movie, but The Other Side of the Door is a decently scary ghost movie with a great story.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Horror movies have come up with an interesting trend in 2016, possibly
not a new one, but it is an awful one. The producers have decided to
take actresses from popular shows, namely The Walking Dead and Game of
Thrones, and put them in a foreign country then throw in a bunch of
jumps scares and scary special effect faces and voila, another bad move
out the pipe of Hollywood so the masses can eat more bad stuff. Us
horror fans are gullible and easy to please but I'm not sure why the
addition of horror means the absence of plot since nearly every month I
read great new horror coming from clever writers with new twists and
This movie was one of the worst with Sarah Wayne Callies, Lori Grimes of TWD, a pretty awful actress. She was one of the worst parts of the first few seasons and I was just fine when she exited the series, spoiler alert but if you really care you would probably know by now. Callies plays Karina an American mourning mother whose son drowned in an awful car accident after moving to India. This gruesome scene was disturbing but it's all down hill from here.
Check out more of this review and others at swilliky.com
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's always a risk when Hollywood takes the premise of horror from
other countries, because there's lingering intrinsic value that might
not be conveyed properly. Luckily, a good atmospheric nuance, respect
for the culture and outstanding acting performances, even from the
child actress, ensure that "The Other Side of the Door" releases a
harrowing experience for audience from any side of the globe.
Maria (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Michael (Jeremy Sisto) are a western couple living in India. Everything seems fine, but unfortunately she is struck by a tragic accident. Trapped in unstable state and in an attempt to remedy this, she performs a dark ritual. It's a very compelling set-up, because the local ambiance of India is preserved appropriately, and fine acting from the entire family produces a compelling story.
Sarah Wayne Callies does a wonderful job as the desperate mother, she's utterly believable and sympathetic to audience. The strong performance goes a long way to build up dread, in fact a lot of the terrifying scenes work because she, in a sense, sells them so well. Jeremy Sisto is also a decent addition as the concerned husband and father.
Typically, the accusation of one's mental health is a staple gimmick of horror, yet it's quite understandably for the on-screen family to undergo this struggle. Credit goes to Sofia Rosinsky as the child, she's adorable yet shows enough peculiar signs to make viewers wonder if the ordeal has changed her. The movie even throws a cuddly dog to raise the eerie tension and apprehension whether it will also be a victim.
Cinematography adds the traditional value as it includes the grimy nature of India. It often shows the city or village in suitable tone, details such as those in the busy streets or quiet alleys are fine additions. Suchitra Pillai-Malik as Piki the maid rounds up the cast, while also gives a more identifiable foreign vibe.
The creepy moments, admittedly, aren't incredibly original. The movie has a nice buildup, but it plays around with the usual trepidation and suspense of dark corners while the narrative is also predictable since it gives many hints. However, the cast and presentation deliver confidently. The production knows its way around the genre, giving the horror the right and occasional unforeseen timing, so they never feel like cheap scares.
"The Other Side of the Door" opens up many chances for horror with its appreciation of foreign culture and delightfully convincing performance from its cast.
I'll be honest. I think if I hadn't seen this in cinema,with the lights
off, the loud sound system and the big screen, I would've given it a
lower score. If you saw The Forest earlier this year, you know what to
expect from The Other Side of The Door.
The Good: I know a lot of peeps don't like her, but I think Sarah Wayne Callies has a great presence and a naturalness to her performances that I enjoy. She made for a believable mother, who had to make the kind of choice no parent should ever have to. Jeremy Sisto is another actor I like (remember him as the guy who got the arrows in his back in Wrong Turn?) and the kid actress, while average, didn't annoy me and actually appears in one of the better/scarier scenes in this movie. I also liked that the location was India and the evil/dark presence was part of their folklore. It was a little something new, that I hadn't really seen in North American films.
The Bad :Cliches, clichés, clichés! When for the love of Rice will they stop using the tired old tropes of : -Ghost with hollow eyes and stretched mouth (CGI of course) Look over there! Oops no, it's right next to you! (accompanied with loud ass noise) -Parent is completely absent from story for no reason, only to show up at the end. Sisto is VASTLY underused in this movie, to the point where I wondered if there was bad editing and he had scenes that were cut out. -Not following your own rules! (Burn stuff and ghost goes away, but wait, nope!) - Told not to do something or else. Does it anyway! -Witness the supernatural. Interact with the supernatural. Denies it exists.
I could go on and on, but nobody likes to read these days so I'll just stop and say, wait for it on DVD and watch it to pass the time. The Other Side of the Door, may scare the average horror viewer, but it's tepid waters, for the hardcore lovers of the genre.
A clear definition of Hinduism is hard to pin down. Hinduism is a
culture, a philosophy and, of course, a religion. It's considered one
of the world's great religions and one of the oldest. It has the third
highest number of adherents worldwide (behind Christianity and Islam)
and is the major religion of India, the world's second most populous
country, where 80% of its 1.3 billion inhabitants are Hindu. Hinduism
is a polytheistic religion whose many gods are interconnected by their
legends. Hindus also believe in the reincarnation of the immortal soul
after the death of the physical body. Digging deeper into Hinduism
yields stories that have evolved over the centuries and beliefs that
are difficult for most non-Hindus to truly understand. In short,
Hinduism is a mystery to most of the world especially to the western
world. Perhaps that is why it makes a good basis for a ghost story like
"The Other Side of the Door" (R, 1:36).
Michael and Maria (Jeremy Sisto and Sarah Wayne Callies) are Americans running a furniture business in India, which they decide to make their home when Maria discovers she's pregnant with the couple's first child. Five years later, they're enjoying life in Mumbai with their son, Oliver (Logan Creran), and younger daughter, Lucy (Sofia Rosinsky) that is, until a tragic accident takes Oliver's life. Maria is inconsolable. As much she loves her husband and daughter, she's racked with guilt over her son's death and finds it nearly impossible to maintain her own will to live. Seeing Maria's pain, the family's Indian housekeeper, Piki (Suchitra Pillai-Malik), offers Maria a chance to get some closure and move past Oliver's death.
Piki tells Maria of an abandoned Hindu temple near Piki's childhood home in southern India. Piki says that if Maria spreads Oliver's ashes on the temple steps, goes into the temple and waits until after dark, Oliver's spirit will come to the temple and Maria can say her final goodbyes to her son through the door as long as she doesn't open the door no matter what. Yup, you guessed it. Maria, overcome by the longing to hold her son once again when she hears his voice, opens the door an act which disrupts the balance between the living and the dead and prevents Oliver's soul from being reincarnated. Instead, Oliver's spirit, in its altered and transitory state, wreaks havoc on Maria's family, while an unhappy Hindu goddess and a tribe of spiritualists who communicate with the dead are intent on restoring order.
"The Other Side of the Door" is a (mostly) original and satisfying horror flick. You won't get much in the way of actual insight into the Hindu religion, but its beliefs provide an interesting foundation for the film's story. Rather than happening "just because", as in many horror movies, the scary stuff in this movie at least has an explanation. The flashback scene of the accident that killed Oliver is heartbreaking, the ending is creepy and the story in between keeps you wondering what's real, what's not and where the story is going. (I thought I had it figured out 10 minutes in. I was wrong.) Bringing it all together are Callies and Sisto. Both are movie and TV veterans who bring the necessary acting heft to this ghost story's plot points. Unfortunately, there are some cheap jump scares and the creepy sights and sounds seem recycled from almost every cinematic ghost story from "The Grudge" to "The Conjuring". This all leaves us with a movie whose frights aren't very fresh, but with a surprisingly solid story and style. "B+"
I've read a lot of bad reviews slating this movie, I get why. Don't go into this movie expecting a great horror movie, it's not really a horror. It is however a really good tragedy which is portrayed using a medium of creepy devices. If you leave this movie and all you have is 'lame jump scares', you're missing the point of the story. If you're considering watching this, do it, it's worth the 1 hour 35. Each of the actors does a pretty stand up job, the direction and photography went well, my only gripe would be the editing. The flow of the story looked like it wanted to be a horror movie, when it should have looked like a 'Del Toro'.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoyed this movie. It had what a horror movie should have, nothing more , nothing less. However the story did remind me of Pet Cemetery where there is a tragic loss of a young male child and the parent is so grief stricken they will do anything to see them again. Even if it means horrible things will occur because of their actions. Being a parent myself I could relate to the main character and how she felt she needed closure after such a terrible accident which took her son. I was familiar with the actress from the Walking Dead series so I knew she would deliver. The little girl also does a great job playing the possessed instrument of evil for the final moments of the film. There are some "jump out" scares but I believe the lead actress does a good job of playing a woman who is first pleased then regrets what she has done to her son & her family by not heeding the warning she was given before the ritual. It was a good movie and had all the elements Pet Cemetery had way back when, evil dead kid, grieving parent, "the warning" don't do this but character does just that. Worth a watch.
Prison Break's Sarah Wayne Callies carries this British-Indian horror
production with the same demeanour as her more familiar role; maternal
enough to sell the film's major theme, yet strong enough to carry the
entire feature. This, after all, is what Callies is tasked with, as the
grieving mother she portrays invites her dead son's spirit back to the
world of the living with inevitably chilling consequences.
While the majority of studio horror nowadays is bound by so many stipulations - the jump scares, the teenage cast demographics - that ultimately render it generic, The Other Side of the Door benefits from a refreshing change of setting in its Indian locale. As a result, not only does the film look elegantly beautiful with its colours and scenery, but its plot also benefits from a less familiar cultural angle than most supernatural thrillers are afforded. The central menace here - a temple doorway through which the living can contact the dead - is so far removed from Western ideology and the recurring origins of its horror movie monsters that the film undeniably offers something that is at least different, if not completely new. The second act, where things go bump in the night as Maria questions the nature of the spirit she's allowed back into her home, is admittedly routine, but that's not the issue with modern horror; the issue is whether or not it can at least try to overcome this mundane narrative.
This is where the screenplay's wider themes come in to sharper focus, as the audience encourages Maria to make the right choices while sympathising with her fragile state of mind. The horror isn't simply limited to creepy children and unseen entities, but also the lengths a parent is compelled to go to in order to be reunited with a lost child. It's most certainly enough to make the more pedestrian scares forgivable as you witness a family being torn further apart by their loss just as much they are the shadows that lurk around them.
The Other Side of the Door won't terrify you any more than any other supernatural horror released this year, and that's because, by now, genre aficionados really have seen it all. What it will do, however, is linger with you much longer as you place yourselves in the shoes of an emotionally drained mother who, you understand, would do anything to see her son again.
Since a good horror film like "the others" or "shining" apparently
comes every decade or two, I've stopped having high expectations. I'm
not sure what, but may be horror films can either be masterpieces or a
failure. Or it's just that not much budget is put into them. Acting,
premise and plot was decent. So I feel a little unfair when I'm gonna
bring down so much good work just because of poor writing.
The beginning was appropriately paced fast enough, but it is then that you also realise the narration fails to develop the characters.
Passed mid time, story begs for the resident of the house to question the sudden change in his house, and he doesn't. At that point I start skipping before I get bored.
I watched this because another comment said it was worth a watch. Well, I'm recommending it is if you have some side activity, or if you easily get excited .
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