HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Other Side of the Door
HTS Overall Score:72
Supernatural horror movies about other realm rules that cannot be broken without consequences are a staple of the horror genre. Many MANY other films follow those same guidelines, and that is one of the reasons why “The Other Side of the Door” is so generic and dull. We’ve seen this thing a thousand times, if not more. Sure, there are some scares that work, and the setting in India is kind of cool, but the storytelling is sloppy and the ending just a clichéd mess. I hate to bash on horror films, as I love love love good, mediocre, and sometimes so bad they’re good hack n slashes, but “The Other Side of the Door” was just not very enjoyable at all to me and the other patrons who viewed it with me as well.
Crushed at the reality of losing her oldest son in a drowning accident, Maria (Sarah Wayne Callies) lives in complete despair, despite her loving husband Michael (Jeremy Sisto) and surviving daughter Lucy (Sophia Rosinsky). Living in India, their house maid takes pity on Maria and tells her about an ancient ruined temple on the outskirts of town. Mystical powers dwell in that location and it is a known “thin” spot for spiritual activity. If she takes her son’s ashes and locks herself inside the temple, her son Oliver will come and visit. The only thing is that she mustn’t open the temple door that entire night, otherwise she will bring forth a terrible evil. Yeah, like THAT is going to happen! I know, NOBODY in a horror movie ever listens to good advice! Said person says “don’t do this or you’ll be sorry”, and grown adults act just like little children and do it anyways. Well, Maria opens the door to see her son, but nothing is there.
Thinking that nothing bad happens, Mommy dearest comes home only to find out that strange things are afoot. Plants and animals are dying, and Lucy reports that she is playing with Oliver upstairs. At first a bit skeptical, Maria is converted when Oliver makes his presence known to her. Thinking that it is a miracle the grieving mother holds on to the spirit for all she’s worth. But, as with most horror movies, the spirit that came back is not the same kind little boy that she left behind. Not to mention the fact that there is a vengeful spirit known as the gatekeeper who will stop at nothing to drag Oliver back to the underworld where he belongs.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=72825[/img]Where do I begin? Ugggggggg. “The Other Side of the Door” is a lesson what NOT to do when making a horror movie. I know the people in horror flicks are supposed to be stupid and make dumb decisions, but this truly takes the cake. A grown mother can’t follow simple instructions, even AFTER she has been told what will happen, and then stupidly decides to disobey them anyways. I can forgive that kind of stupidity in a horror movie IF the scares are decent. Sadly even the jump scares didn’t really startle me. They were few and far between, but they were also rather half-hearted. The one with the screaming girl on the bed was especially horrific as it was so obviously a rubber mask on. I actually giggled out loud amidst the laughter of all who were previewing the disc with me. I almost wondered if we were in an evil doll movie or something, it looked so fake.
Even though Jeremy Sisto and Sophia Rosinsky are billed as top cast along with Sarah, Sarah is really the whole focus of the story. The rest of the cast just kind of fades into the background while Mariah is dealing with all of the after effects of the botched visit to see her dead son. Sisto does what he can with his limited screen time, but there’s not that much for him to do, and the daughter is simply there as a vessel. The only character that really was that impressive was their housemaid Pillai, who adds a solid amount of dread and foreboding to the movie.
Rated R for some bloody violence
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=72833[/img]“The Other Side of the Door” comes to Blu-ray with a very dark, but very pleasant looking 2.39:1 scope picture. It was shot using the Red Epic camera systems and looks very clean and precise, with great detailing in the Mumbai inspired setting. The movie is pretty much bathed in darkness, except for a few flashbacks and intermittent daylight sequences throughout the movie, and sports a very dark blue/teal color grading to complement the shadowy darkness and greys situated throughout the film. Black levels are usually good, but sometimes get crushed and milky, obscuring some of the shadow detail. There is also some softness that creeps up in the deepest darkest points, and while there really isn’t that much banding it does make some of the night time sequence a bit hard to see in. Overall a very nice looking transfer that looks right about on par with most digitally shot horror films.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=72841[/img]Now the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is a little more than just “good”. An effective horror movie, especially one that relies on jump scares, has to have a powerful and aggressive sonic experience and “The Other Side of the Door” has that in spades. Deep wallops of bass accompany a highly active surround sound stage that gets the listener right in the heart of the creepy demonic action. You can hear the background noise of whispering spirits as Maria talks to Oliver, as well as the slamming weight of the door with the spirits beating down on it. Directionality is simply superb, as whispering and other spirit related effects shift around the sound stage, coming from one angle, only to shift around and come from an entirely different angle. Dialog is always at a premium, and sounds equally balanced with the aggressive sound effects, making for a very dynamic auditory experience.
• Six Deleted Scenes
• Behind the Door – Making-of Featurette
• Still Gallery
“The Other Side of the Door” is just another mediocre horror movie that is comprised mostly of jump scares. I WAS pleasantly surprised to see that it was an R-rated film, and not some watered down PG-13 abomination, but the lack of any real thrills or cohesive plot line kept me from truly enjoying the supernatural adventure. There were some ooey gooey moments and some scares, but they were mostly haphazardly manufactured and lacked the impact of better films in the genre. The video is quite good though, and the audio is top notch. So if you like this sort of thing then it mike make for a rental, otherwise I would just skip it.
Starring: Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Sofia Rosinsky
Directed by: Johannes Roberts
Written by: Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, French DD 5.1
Runtime: 96 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 7th, 2016
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