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Review The Other Side of the Door (2016): Here's Ollie!

genre: horror

The Other Side of the Door is a British-Indian co production with American actors set in India. Director of the film is Johannes Roberts and have not seen anything of his prior to this. One of the producers is Alexandre Aja who has directed Horns, The Hills Have Eyes and High Tension (Haute Tension). Aja has been doing good so far so why should this be any different?

I shall be honest with you. When I read the title and saw the poster I did not have high expectations for this film. It sounded like it was going to be one big cliché. And actually it was kind of. But in a good way for the most part. I think they made good use of the locale and the atmosphere if only they would have made it more authentic and used real Indian folklore instead of making up their own story. Still it was not nearly as insulting as that dinner scene in Temple of Doom so you won't get any complaints from me concerning this. Something could be said of the random implementation of Japanese horror elements (Ju-on: The Grudge in particular) but whether they belonged there or not they were pretty effective. So again you won't get any complaints regarding those.

Sarah Wayne Callies was pretty good in this one. Although you can be sure you will curse her for some of her character's actions. Most of the time you will be able to relate to her Maria. A mother who has lost her young son Oliver in an accident. She has trouble moving because of her intense grief and something else. What that is I won't spoil but it's one of the reasons why she resorts to incredible stupid and selfish acts later on. Housekeeper Piki (played by Suchitra Pillai) knows what she is going through because her daughter also died in an accident and suggests that Maria should go to this temple where she will have the opportunity to say goodbye to her son.  She gives her instructions including a warning that under no condition she should open the door. Guess what happens? I know we would not have a movie otherwise but still. One could make a case for Maria saying that her grief was so overwhelming and unbearable she gave into what at that point would make her feel good again. And that is very understandable of course. But does that mean you should disregard the warnings especially if you are dealing with the supernatural? I would think (whether you believe it or not) it's always a bad idea. She never tells her husband what she has done and as far as the film is concerned he does not ask her why she went away. Don't know about you but I would question her until I would get an answer. Especially after she left her husband and young daughter out of the blue. Her husband Michael is played by Jeremy Sisto and his role was not as significant as I had hoped it would be. Michael seems to be the more composed one and while also grieving is many steps ahead of Maria. Although it does seem like he is burying himself in his work instead of dealing with his grief head on.

The Other Side of the Door is filled with your typical jump scares and creepy moments. Nothing you haven't seen before but pretty effective for the most part. I was invested in the film throughout. But one thing you will have to realize is that this film does not go far enough. You could almost say that they missed their opportunity to bank on their premise. But overall it's a decent watch. Even then you won't be able to refrain yourself from yelling (once or twice) at the stupidity of the main characters. I mean if you are going to subject yourself to matters of the occult and supernatural why is it so hard for people to follow the instructions to the letter? Why do people always disregard these warnings? 

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