Director: Johannes Roberts
Cast: Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Javier Botet
Release Date: March 4th
Remember the dark skinned stock character that used to appear in every horror film? You know the one. He was always connected to the spiritual world. He always died, and it wasn’t racist (we swear), because in spite of how expendable he was, he was also honourable.
Well, guess what? He’s back, but now, he’s an Indian housemaid, and you can see her in The Other Side of the Door, an Orientalist nightmare, which plagiarizes every J-Horror remake and leans heavily on all of those supernatural-movie tropes that no longer create suspense. Screaming children, ghosts that slowly advance as a light flickers, barbaric natives and illogical methods of defeating demons from another world, you name it. It’s all there, and what’s more, nobody, in the past decade, has managed to execute it as poorly as does director Johannes Roberts.
Starring Sarah Wayne Callies, of Walking Dead fame, a gang of cliché horror child actors, and a man with the personality of cheese sandwiches sliced into triangles, The Other Side of the Door is a cheap, racist, exploitative movie about grief, which deserves to be forgotten, before even being witnessed. Set in India, for no justifiable reason, the plot follows Marie and Michael as they decide to relocate here, after learning that they are about to have a child.
As they agree upon this drastic leap, there is a time lapse, at the end of which, we see Marie as a tormented woman, mothering a daughter, while also grieving over a son, who died in a car accident. A victim of survivor’s guilt, she makes an attempt on her life, before the housemaid, Piki intervenes, informing Marie that she can communicate with her deceased son one last time.
You see, Piki also lost a daughter. There is an interesting back story there, but since she is neither an American, nor white, the arc is overlooked. No, Piki’s sole purpose here is to assist Marie, advising her to venture out to an abandoned temple, where the spiritual world is closest to ours. Marie will be able to speak with her son, but if she opens the temple door, upon conducting the ritual summoning, then foul things will lurk on the other side.
As you would expect, she opens the door, and all hell breaks loose. The family is tormented by their poltergeist son, who only wants to kill, play piano duets, and hear his mother read passages from ‘The Jungle Book’. There is supposed to be suspense in here somewhere, but the outcome of each scene becomes immediately obvious within the first ten seconds of each act’s commencement. Unoriginal to the point of ending up totally unique, the script here was probably written faster than the actual movie’s running time, with the only sounds audible being the clacking of fingers against a keyboard, and the scriptwriter shouting aloud, “Wow, I am so good at doing this.”
The excrement of filmmakers such as James Wan and Leigh Whannell, The Other Side of the Door is the deformed baby brother of Insidious, The Conjuring and Paranormal Activity. Those films actually look decent in hindsight, at least when compared to this valueless piece of trash. There is nothing here, except a few million dollars budget, some disgustingly negative racial stereotypes, and a half-decent ending, which loses all respect, given the smouldering pile of garbage that is the set-up. Go to something else, heck, go to Alvin and the Chipmunks 4, just do not give this man the credit of managing to put arses on seats.