Sometimes a film can really suffer from a poorly cut trailer, and this was most certainly one of those cases. It just felt like those two minutes were being crammed with as many ‘scary’ moments from the film as possible, but it ended up being more like a montage of horror clichés. Because of that, and the lack of any sort of buzz or word of mouth surrounding this film, I was expecting very little. What a treat I got.
After losing her son in a car accident, a woman learns of a way to speak to him one last time – in an abandoned temple in India. There’s only one rule she must obey – when speaking to her son, she must not open the temple door. She of course opens it, but the spirit of her son isn’t the only thing that comes back into their lives.
One of the best parts of this film is the setting, and the mythology that comes with it. India isn’t a place many non-Bollywood films are set, and even fewer in the horror genre, and it definitely works in favour of The Other side of the Door. It also allows for some interesting imagery and cultural ideas that you wouldn’t normally see in this kind of film, which all help create a sinister atmosphere. The only downside to this is that it does feel a tiny bit racist that this film would choose to focus on a white American family, when an Indian family might have felt a little bit more authentic.
So the important part – is this film scary? While it’s not a truly terrifying experience that’ll stay with you for years, it certainly did enough to ensure that my face was half behind my hand a few times, and it earned some pretty solid jump scares. This was all helped by some very good performances, especially by child actor Sofia Rosinsky, who had to work through a wide range of emotions and pulled them all off with a surprising amount of maturity, and Jeremy Sisto, a handsome anti-hero type who’s just waiting to be cast as the lead in the HBO series.
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