The Walking Dead‘s Sarah Wayne Callies stars in The Other Side of the Door, sung in my head to the tune of ‘The Other Side of This Life‘ by Jefferson Airplane.
Ostensibly a horror movie, The Other Side of the Door is in equal measures depressing, boring and racist… but never, ever scary. Set in India, the film follows an American couple mourning the death of their son Oliver (Logan Creran) and good horror movies.
In lieu of a pet cemetery or an original idea, the mother (Callies) visits what can only be described as a Scary Door through which she can speak to her dead son, having been tipped off by their servant (Suchitra Pillai-Malik), who happens to practice ancient Hindu black magic.
“You have to promise me one thing,” she says. “Promise me you won’t open the door to the realm of the dead.”
It’s astonishing how quickly you’ll lose sympathy for these bereaved parents. Even if you can look past the fact that they have a servant and consistently neglect their other child (Sofia Rosinsky), their unrelentingly idiotic behaviour will have you rooting for their comeuppance, which takes an obnoxiously long time to arrive.
Eventually, she lets the ghost of her dead son into their house, but the father (Jeremy Sisto) doesn’t notice, even as Oliver dutifully ticks off every tedious ghost cliché – spelling out “Olivr” in alphabet blocks (because ghosts can’t spell), playing the piano (because ghosts all play the piano) and throwing books around (because ghosts have no imagination).
This is yet another nothing-happens-in-a-house movie, agonisingly slow through lack of ideas and frankly offensive in its depiction of India. There’s nothing but laziness haunting The Other Side of the Door – and that’s exactly where it belongs.