The Other Side of the Door (2016)
Critic Consensus: Laden with flimsy jump scares and cheap stereotypes, The Other Side of the Door wastes solid work from Sarah Wayne Callies on thoroughly middling horror fare.
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Critic Reviews for The Other Side of the Door
It might be trying to make a point. If so, it sure is hard to hear it over the noisy screeches and cheap jump scares.
Like all the best horror, The Other Side of the Door is concerned not just with what freaks us out on a gut level, but the deeply-repressed anxieties that truly terrify us.
As a psychological study of a grief-stricken mother, the film works well enough. When it turns into a tale of demonic possession, it begins to creak.
The Other Side of the Door is a functional, entirely respectable entry into the populist canon of "evil child" horror movies (from The Innocents to The Omen to Orphan).
There are no prizes for guessing what happens, but it's a smart scary movie that relies on atmosphere and characterisation - not just jump-scares - for its effect.
Audience Reviews for The Other Side of the Door
A few jumps allows this movie to remain somewhat interesting.
It has an intriguing premise that could have led to a more original movie, but the result is just terribly predictable and full of clichés from beginning to end, especially in an awful third act that seems like a compilation of every horror movie cliché you can think of.
From a film starring a current cast member from The Walking Dead to, now, a film starring a former cast member. That's not really that important, it's just something to talk about just in case I don't have much to say about this film, so I can artificially lengthen the review. I guess I shouldn't complain the next time I see a film that's stretched thin, where they're practically reaching for ways to extend their story. That's neither here nor there and that's not really the point of this. As far as the film goes, this actually isn't half bad in all honesty and there's some pretty good moments here and there. Like the entire Myrtu creature and its design is actually really cool and might actually creep some people out. Javier Botet, whom you've probably seen perform as various monsters in horror films such as Mama, does an excellent job with the physical aspects of the character. Like I said, the design of the Myrtu character is really strong and there's something powerful about it, I can't quite put my finger as to what is powerful about it. Maybe it's the fact that it's inspired by both Greek and Indian mythology. As far as I can tell, there's no actual Myrtu in either mythos, but it's still a pretty cool monster. It's probably not gonna be remembered, since the film itself isn't exactly memorable, but I really liked the Myrtu monster. As far as the rest of this goes, it's a perfectly fine flick. It's not what one could call a clever or inventive horror film, but it offers a decent diversion for a little while. The story is fairly predictable. Woman going through a lot of grief after not being able to save her son from drowning is given a chance, through some supernatural shit, to say goodbye to him one last time. The way it's set up, Maria, our lead, has to lock herself up in this temple after spreading her son's ashes on the steps leading to the temple. After dark, she will be able to speak to her son, who's on the other side of the door (duh). But she is forbidden from opening the door, no matter how much he begs. You can pretty much guess what happens. Maria opens the door and allows Oliver's ghost to come back and also allows Myrtu, a demon that rules over the underworld, to come back as well. This is where things get a little confusing, because Oliver comes back and, all of a sudden, he's kind of a dick. Haunting his family, possessing his sister, etc, etc. Maybe the idea is that Myrtu is influencing over Oliver's actions, since she does rule over the underworld, but they never make that super clear. The story itself is fairly derivative, it kind of reminds me of Pet Cemetery. Though I can get into the idea of a mother overcome with so much grief that she is basically unable to live her life wanting one last chance to say goodbye to her son. That's an universal theme, one that I can even get into without being a parent myself. So I thought that worked well, even if the narrative progression itself is a little generic and derivative. The film also benefits from a strong performance by Sarah Wayne Callies. No complaints on that front at all, she does a great job with the material she is given here. It wasn't great, and it's not like Sarah made it great, but she was quite good here. There's some decent enough scares, a lot of them being of the jumpy variety, but, somehow, I wasn't as annoyed by it in this movie as I am in others. Part of it is that it doesn't really feel that lazy to me. It's not like it was super inspired or anything of the sort, but it's not as lazy or as uninspired in worse horror movies. And it's not like I would call this a good movie, it's average at best, but I enjoyed this more than the score would imply. Only way I'd recommend this if it ever hit Netflix or you have a free Redbox rental. That way you have nothing to lose, as did I. Derivative and unoriginal, but it's got some cool moments and good central performance from Sarah Wayne Callies.
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