Sarah Wayne Callies of The Walking Dead fame stars alongside Jeremy Sisto in this supernatural spookfest set in India. Callies and Sisto play Maria and Michael, a married couple who after moving abroad suffer a tragic traffic accident which results in the death of their son Oliver. Distraught at his death, Maria struggles to overcome the loss and tries to take her own life. After failing her suicide attempt, the house keeper Piki tells Maria of an abandoned Hindu temple in her home village where the barrier between the living and the dead is extremely thin. If Maria performed a small ritual at the temple, locking the door behind her, she would get one last chance to say goodbye to Oliver, however all that she must not do is open the door.
Unsurprisingly Maria does open the door, even if it goes against her better judgement and previously received warnings, but how are you going to have a film if she doesn’t? This predictable start to the film sets the tone for the rest as characters do the usual predictable things, and as a result things get spooky and the innocent summoning of Oliver’s spirit goes awry. After the door is opened Oliver’s spirit comes back into the world of the living, which is followed by a series of ghoulish faces filling the screen against a backdrop of shrill music, in what can only be described as an attack of the scary close up. There is only so much fear that can be drawn from utilising the same trick over and over again.
Despite the prolific use of evil faces there are some unsettling scenes which help the film retain a relatively creepy atmosphere. The abandoned Hindu temple, and Maria’s home are both unique settings which provide a good place for the action to take place, and India also makes for a refreshing setting for a supernatural film. That being said it’s pretty much wasted on a dumb story full of the usual supernatural nonsense.
The Other Side of the Door is director Johannes Roberts best film to date, but with an weak back catalogue that includes damp squibs Storage 24 and F it’s hardly an impressive statement. All in all the film is a by the books horror wrapped up in a different setting. The effective settings, and mildly creepy atmosphere only go so far with a plethora of jump scares littering the way. Horror fans might get some kicks from it, but it’s firmly middle of the road fare.