ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

Not even Lori from The Walking Dead can bring this movie to life.

1. Here's a vocabulary word for you: "potboiler". It's an old-fashioned term for a movie or book or play that is pretty crappy, without much thought or creativity involved. It's made cheap so that the creators can make enough money to pay their daily living expenses, to "keep the pot boiling".

Ok, now let's use this word in a sentence: The Other Side of the Door is a potboiler.

2. Related to the first point, this movie is nothing but a checklist of horror movie tropes. A loving family that loses a child tragically - check. A way to communicate with the dead child through a thin boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead - check. An abandoned temple in a dark forest in an exotic location - check. Some ancient tribal people looking menacing - check. The woman is warned "whatever you do, don't do the thing." - check. The woman does the thing - check.

I won't go on. If you should accidentally happen to watch this movie, you can follow the checklist from there.

3. Related to the second point, the filmmakers really didn't care if the story made sense (which it doesn't), they just had to make it through enough checkpoints in 95 minutes.

4. It was directed by British director Johannes Roberts. He's never really done anything very good.

5. The acting is horrible. Actually, they seem like they don't really care, they're just pulling a paycheck. I like Jeremy Sisto, but he wanders through this movie like he was on Xanax. And I like Sarah Wayne Callies, but may have spent too long in The Walking Dead, and now thinks like a zombie.

6. Worse than the acting are the special effects. There are almost none. The biggest creature effect is a woman with four hands, walking jerky. But the camera likes to focus on her fingers stretching.

Two of these arms are obviously fake.
Two of these arms are obviously fake.
This kid doesn't look dead. He just looks wet.
This kid doesn't look dead. He just looks wet.

7. The movie is paced so deliberately according to the checkpoints I mentioned above that you can call the scenes before they happen. "OK, the dead boy is going to try to get Mom to open the door. But it will be on the third attempt. Here's attempt one... here's attempt two... here's attempt three... and the door is open!" Or. "look, here's a home movie of the two kids playing a piano. So the dead boy will play the piano with his sister in about 25 minutes."

8. In the theater my head kept sliding off the headrest because I was so bored I was starting to fall asleep.

9. I don't hate this movie. In order to hate something, there has to be something worthy of hating. This movie isn't anything. There's nothing there. I'm already forgetting that I saw it.


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