“The Other Side of the Door” (2016) is a British-Indian supernatural horror film directed by Johannes Roberts. Starring Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Javier Botet, and Sofia Rosinsky. Music composed by Joseph Bishara who has scored films like “Insidious,” “Dark Skies” and “The Conjuring”. It’s like “Pet Sematary,” except with an Indian temple instead of a cursed graveyard. And when the dead come back, they don’t revive in their rotting bodies. They just haunt the shit out of your home and possess one of your loved ones.
The movie starts with a couple talking. Maria is pregnant. Her husband, Michael randomly asks a little girl if he should stay with his wife, and the little girl points and screams at her while her eyes are oozing a black liquid. Man what? (This is the first jump scare of the movie. It’s a bad one.)
Maria has a son, named Oliver. Unfortunately, he dies in a car accident. Their car ran off the road into a river, and Maria could only save her daughter Lucy from the raging waters. She feels incredibly guilty about it.
Piki is her housemaid and she notices Maria watching home movies of her and her children.
Succumbing to her survivor’s guilt and her grief, Maria overdoses on pills. She wants to die, but is unsuccessful. Her maid Piki visits her in the hospital and tells her about a temple, where the line (aka The VEIL) between the DEAD and the LIVING is thin. If she spreads her son’s ashes on the temple steps, and locks herself inside that night, her son’s spirit will visit her and she can talk to him through the door, and get closure. The catch: You can’t open the door or something bad will happen.
Guess what she does? Yes. That’s right. She opens the door. SPOILERS!
Wait. That was in the trailer. Nevermind. No spoilers here folks. Move along.
Making a long story short, Maria is warned never to open the temple door. She then has her son’s body dug up and cremated, and meets the Aghori shamans- men that eat the flesh of the dead, and coat their bodies in ashes to strengthen their bonds between the world of the LIVING and the world of the DEAD.
Maria decides to go alone, because reasons. At the temple, there are dead ravens lying around. Not persuaded by the completely obvious ill omen, she spreads her son’s ashes on the temple steps, enters the temple, and waits for her son’s spirit to arrive.
Jump scare by a crow, then her candle goes out. A minute later she goes to the door to talk to her son Oliver’s spirit. When he appears outside the temple, he begs her to open the door, and she does *facepalm*.
After this an Aghori appears behind her!
Ahhhhhh!!!! Jump scare!
Meanwhile, her husband Michael is woken up by the dog Winston whom is barking at something. Maria comes back, and in her infinite wisdom, she doesn’t tell Piki that she opened the door. Because reasons.
Lucy, her daughter, hears something and sees Oliver’s stuffed tiger Khan on the steps that go to his room, and she takes it.
After Maria comes back home she’s startled by the dog barking and she goes to Lucy’s room.
The next day Maria can’t find Lucy. After looking frantically around the house, she finds her in Oliver’s room. Lucy has Oliver’s stuffed tiger Khan. Then spoopily, the piano downstairs starts playing by itself.
Lucy tells Maria that Oliver is hiding in the house! Oh noes!
Maria, being the messed up mom that she is, reads to the ghost of her son, after she finds his stuffed tiger on her bed. Because, it’s not like her daughter could have put it there, right?
Soon, things in the house start dying. Lucy and Maria bury the dead fish, and then an Aghori shows up, followed by another, and another, and another and they’re all pointing at her!
So she lets them put ash on her face and then she’s startled by a dead person doing another jump scare. Because nothing says scary like startling the entire audience with a painfully loud noise! Am I right?
That night Lucy watches TV and her puppy dog senses something evil near her.
Lucy is bit by something, or someone. So instead of taking care of her kid, Maria goes to comfort her ghost son, because that makes perfect sense. Her dead son forces her to read “The Jungle Book,” instead of some other crappy kids book, and you know, I don’t blame him. “Goodnight Moon” is so cliché.
The next day Maria wakes up to the piano was playing by itself. Oliver’s stuffed tiger, Khan was ripped to shreds and left under the piano. How rude!
The four-armed ghost monster, called the Myrtu, is the Guardian of the Door/Gate to the Underworld. So naturally it is going to come and take care of the problem that Maria started. For some reason, the Aghori keep popping up at random and pointing at Maria and the ghosts. It’s like they don’t have anything else better to do than stalk Maria and scare the bejeezus out of her. (I bet it’s fun. lulz)
The Myrtu is the main monster of the film and it reminds me of a “Silent Hill” monster.
So once she figures out what is going on, Piki gets all up in Maria’s business, because now her dead son’s soul can never be pure. Maria upset the balance between life and death. And the Mrytu, the Gatekeeper of the Underwold, has come to take Oliver back to the World of the Dead. Where he belongs, the little jerk.
Maria starts hallucinating and seeing Myrtu everywhere. Also, cockroaches, because reasons. Maria tries to convince her husband to go back with her to the States, but he has a job there or something and blah blah blah, no.
Poor Piki does what she can to convince Oliver’s spirit to leave the house by removing all of his belongings. This just pisses dead Oliver off, and he makes her see the ghost of her dead daughter Annushka. She lets her guard down and Oliver the ghost, drowns Piki the housemaid. Bad Form! Never drown the help Oliver!
Maria burns all of Oliver’s belongings.
This drives Oliver to possess his sister Lucy, whom begins to act very strangely.
Finally, Maria confesses to her husband what she did. And she claims that Lucy is possessed. However, since this is Maria, Michael just thinks that she’s becoming mentally unhinged from her grief and locks her in her room. Because that’s how you help people who are going crazy after their child dies. Yup. Just lock them up in a room. Works every time. Oh wait, it doesn’t. My bad.
Then the magical teleporting Aghori appear and surround the house. Winston the puppy dog barks at Lucy (now possessed by Oliver). Oliver/Lucy then stabs the puppy dog and kills it, because, reasons. Then Lucy-loo stabs her daddy Michael. The poor bastard.
Maria gets out of her locked room, somehow. I blame the Myrtu… and Lucy starts screaming. The Ahgori have broken into their home and are going to ritually sacrifice her to the Mytru to get it to leave. Or something…I think. Maybe. Anyhoo, Maria heads up to Oliver’s room where she sees shamans chanting over Lucy’s body.
Then, in all to predictable fashion, Maria begs Oliver to possess her instead, and he does. The Myrtu shows up and things happen. We’re not too sure what…exactly.
Because these shamans are not kick ass enough to be able to perform an exorcism and remove Oliver’s spirit from Lucy, they decide to sacrifice her. Nothing says India like a good old human sacrifice to the gods. Good times. Good times.
Michael stops them, and Maria tells Oliver that he needs to leave. Oliver is scared now, boo hoo. So Maria, being the ever loyal- I mean freaking obsessed mother that she is, tells him that she will go with him. So Oliver, suddenly becoming the gullible kid she knew in life, leaves Lucy’s body and enters Maria’s. And because, reasons, he can’t control her right away, and Maria runs at the shaman, screaming him to kill her. So he stabs her, to death! Stabby stab stab stab.
Maria dies, and wakes up in the room, all alone. Myrtu, the Gate Keeper (Not to be confused with Zuul. That’s the dog shaped-one.) ushers Maria to the Land of the Dead.
Then…later. Maria wakes up, thinking that she is still alive. She can hear Micheal call her name. She sees the temple steps and, yes…Mikey decided to do the same ritual to bring her insane beloved back to him. She screams at him not to open the door. Guess what he does? Just guess…I’m sure you know what happens next, because SEQUEL BAIT! Woooo!!!
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You said it. Disappointing flick with Javier Botet, a very tall very scrawny guy, as Myrtu. Myrtu has 4 arms but Javier is much scarier. How can he be sooo thin??