31 Days of Reviews: The Other Side of the Door (2016)

After losing her son in a tragic accident, a grieving mother attempts to speak with him one last time through supernatural means. There is just one rule. Don’t open the door.

I’ve been meaning to do this review for so long. This movie was gifted to me by a friend for 31 Days of Reviews last year in 2016. My schedule for that was overloaded, so it ended up being pushed to this year. I’m glad to finally be writing about it.

The Other Side of the Door is a supernatural horror film, starring Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), Jeremy Sisto (Six Feet Under), Suchitra Pillai-Malik, and Sofia Rosinsky. It’s directed by Johannes Roberts, who also directed 2017’s 47 Meters Down and the upcoming sequel to The Strangers in 2018.

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 11.04.01 PM

The story is set in India. The main characters, Michael and Maria, chose to live in India because Michael does some sort of antique business of sorts. They start their family there. Several years later, the horrible accident occurs. It forces Maria to make a life or death decision that she has a hard time moving on from.

While grieving the loss of her son, Maria hears about a temple where the line between the living and the dead is very thin. At this temple, she would be able to speak to her son one last time to say her final goodbye. There is one major rule to remember though. No matter what she hears, she must not open the door.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this movie. Unlike a movie I reviewed very recently, there is a good chemistry between the two main characters in this movie. It genuinely felt that Callies and Sisto were a married couple, and it felt like they were going through the loss of their child together. It felt like I was actually watching a family go through the events being depicted, not just watching a series of events.

It does seem that the quality of the film isn’t top tier. This is most likely a budget thing. It could come down to the quality of camera used. It’s not that big of a deal overall. I’m only bringing it up because I had to check if my television settings were correct. The performances and story carry it along just fine. A lower budget can definitely aid profit margins if a film is good enough to carry itself.

While I did enjoy the editing and pacing of the story throughout the majority of the film, it did lose its way toward the end. Everything just escalates too quickly. Characters make a complete 180 degree flip with no warning. Plot elements that didn’t need to be there end up taking center stage. It gets unnecessarily confusing. I appreciated the full circle ending, but getting there was a bit of a trip.

On that note, be aware that even though the characters have supposedly been living in India for years, this film still has that cliched American in a foreign place feel to it. Indian customs are still often framed as being “weird” and just really foreign. I wish it didn’t have that feeling to it. I wish it at least wasn’t to the extent that this film takes it.

In the end though, I did enjoy The Other Side of the Door. It’s one of the better films I’ve watched and reviewed in the last few days. It’s just got a good solid story and some great performances to back it up. It’s not bad. If it comes your way, I’d recommend giving it a shot.

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