The Other Side of The Door - Rock Solid, A Mind Bending Thriller

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The Other Side of The Door, from 20th Century Fox International Pictures, 42 and Kriti Productions, presents a plausible storyline set in Mumbai, with all its mystical beliefs, leading to a wild, heightened suspense, psychological mind bending thriller.

Directed by Johannes Roberts, The Other Side of The Door stars Jeremy Sisto as Michael and Sarah Wayne Callies as Maria, and also stars Sofia Rosinsky as Lucy and Logan Creran as Oliver with Suchitra Pillai-Malik as Piki. The Other Side of The Door was co-written by Roberts and Ernest Riera.

The Other Side of The Door opens as a young couple (Jeremy Sisto/Sarah Wayne Callies) talk over dinner, he enthusiastic over the antiques he found as they sourced the markets of Mumbai and she, apparently not listening, as she blurts the two life changing words that stop any conversation. “I’m pregnant,” she says”’

The world stops, sourcing victories pale and the couple, obviously in love, are walking the stunning Mumbai beach at sunset. It is a moment that romantics cherish. Suddenly Michael is making interesting plans and choices of uprooting them from America and bringing them to India permanently. The sourcing trips, which lasts months, are not part of his plan with a child on the way.

The beach walk solidified a new chapter in a very happy marriage. Life, it appears, couldn’t be sweeter. A child walks up to the couple and in perfect Panjabi Michael asks if they should stay and live forever. Suddenly the girl looks at Maria, points as her face melts and blood pours from her eyes.

Startled awake from the horrific dream, Maria wakes, looking over at Michael she begins to hit him as he sleeps repeating, “How can you sleep so peacefully? I miss him.” Waking Michael obviously, still very much in love, comforts her.

The Other Side of the Room, fast forwards after this introduction with Michael, still very much a loving and caring husband and Maria, coping with a tragedy which is still unknown to the audience. Obvious, it may seem, but unknown actually.

The day begins as the camera pans across the pictures of a happy family, two children, Lucy and Oliver. Michael and Maria have lived in an historic mansion for nearly seven years, two children later, an idyllic life, walking between the raindrops sorrow never seems near the couple.

Maria, as we find out through flashback scenes was driving during Mumbai’s famous torrential rains and a crash caused her car to swerve off the road, through a barrier, submerging in the river. Both children initially survived the crash, Oliver awake, was trapped by the impact. Unable to pull himself free, Maria had to make a traumatic and horrifying decision: save one child and herself or all die together.

The scene is played so well with an emotional plausible storyline for anyone who has suffered grief or loss of a loved one is genuine and moving.

What is left after, in the mind of grief, all is taken? Which is where The Other Side of The Door begins its supernatural, reincarnation, suspense journey.

A Hindi housekeeper, Piki, played by Suchitra Pillai-Malik has struggled with her own grief over the loss of a child and explains to Maria there is place, deep in India’s interior, the last stop on the train, a village where locals believe in inhabited by a death keeper and spirits walk freely once summoned.

Maria like everyone is willing to believe/hope/pray for the possibility of one last moment with her son. For a moment of absolution she follows Piki’s directions and instructions and begins the ritual trip.

Each of the steps that lead her to this one last moment are wrought deep in a belief of a supernatural presence. Grief is unable to differentiate, the mind sees, hears, hopes; loss and mourning become emotional weights, burdens that she, with all she still has, does not want to share. It has claimed her and she has been overtaken.

Nonetheless, the trip through the forest is frightening, each snap, or wind, or other sound becomes amplified and I was ready to cover my eyes.

The trip is a success and Maria who makes it through the forest to the temple completes the instructions and soon she hears the tender voice of her son. With all the strength and restraint she has, she refuses his requests and unable to move her the spirit of her son then departs. Or so it seems.

She returns home to a series of unexplainable phenomena. And as the film mixes the genres, the horror, which is subtle, the haunted house style pop-up’s,  and Maria’s own journey of grief now seem intertwined as Oliver, presumably, has followed his mommy back home.

For a couple of days, the spirit of Oliver is the medicine she needed to have those last precious moments. She finally is able to speak to him, to have him essentially home. And home is then complete again.

I found The Other Side of The Door rock solid. It is scary, with heightened suspense. Haunted House pop up’s around each corner, some spooky unusual happenings to prep the audience for the big scare and the entire mystical culture of Mumbai.  It introduces explorer horror with its cultural references and reincarnation beliefs.

Jeremy Sisto and Sarah Wayne Callies truly bring an A game to the film. They become this couple, the moments of elation, the moments of grief.  Child actress Sofia Rosinsky plays Lucy and she nails this role. Her part calls for an emotional roller coaster reaction role and she pulls it off effortlessly.

Child actor Logan Creran who plays Oliver doesn’t get as much screen time but when he shows up, in full make-up, he also nails his role. These two children are immensely talented.

The Other Side of The Door a wild, thrilling, heightened suspense, roller coaster ride, with a story you can invest in. See it, and then see it again!

The Other Side of the Door opens March 4, 2016. Check local listings

 

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