Genre: Horror, Supernatural.
Starring: Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Javier Botet, Sofie Rosinsky, Logan Creran, Jax Malcolm, Suchitra Pillai-Malik.
Year Of Release: 2016
Certificate: 15 (UK)/R-rated
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Director: Johannes Roberts
Synopsis: “After her young son is killed in a tragic accident, a woman learns of a ritual which will bring him back to say goodbye, but when she disobeys a sacred warning, she upsets the balance between life and death.” IMDB
The film takes place in India, so the themes of their culture and religious beliefs when it comes to death and the afterlife are evident in a good way. The story is simple, it follows an American family who have relocated to India for the husband Michael’s (Jeremy Sisto) work, while living their the family loses their eldest child Oliver (Creran) in a car accident in which the mother Maria (Sarah Wayne Callies) and daughter survives after her choosing to save the daughter Lucy (Rosinsky) first. The families housekeeper Piki (Pillai-Malik) in an attempt to help comfort the grieving Maria offers her one last chance to say good bye to Oliver, she tells her of an abandoned temple in her village. She informs Maria to scatter Olivers ashes at the temple and lock herself in, and by no means must she open the door, no matter what Oliver says. Obviously she panics and opens the door, but there is nobody there, little does she know she has tore a rip in the veil between the living and the dead.
I always get a little worried when a film tries to take the culture/beliefs of an unfamiliar country than the masses are used to, there is always that overlying fear that maybe they just won’t get it right and fail in conveying it to the audience. Fortunately the story of the film takes elements from said culture and intertwines them in an incredibly creepy and eerie way. The culture shock for no-natives to India leaves the watcher feeling uneasy, allowing the tension to build very well. While the story isn’t completely original, it’s very much a rehashing of “Pet Semetary”, which isn’t a bad thing when done with new elements to bring added creep.
One of the best things about “The Other Side Of The Door” is the acting from Sarah Wayne Callies and Jeremy Sisto who have a great dynamic, they rebound off each other in a wonderful fashion they allude a couple going through turmoil. Callies does a brilliant job at portraying a mother who is distraught and at the end of her emotional limits, Callies performance really helps build the tension, along with the relationship issues with her husband, Callies and Sisto have a great chemistry together, his calm demeanour and her fear of the unknown play off each other so well. That being said huge praise goes to Sofia Rosinsky was absolutely brilliant and terrifying in equal measure as the young daughter Lucy. Anytime a little girl is in a horror film you know you’re about to get freaked the eff out in some manner and that doesn’t disappoint this time around either.
Overall, I thought the film was a very fun approach to the concept of a ghost story, the film is extremely creepy and tense with a few scares. The biggest successes of the film come from incredible acting performances across the board and the ability to take something not necessarily new but make it fresh. The choice to touch on a less explored cultures really adds to a truly eerie film that will leave you feeling uncomfortable and impressed at the same time. While this film does use jump scares, it’s hard to complain these days with even the better films in recent years doing so too like “The Conjuring” or “Sinister”, I don’t think it as good as them, but it’s definitely a very enjoyable 90 minute horror film.