The Other Side of the Door (2016)
Sarah Wayne Callies
You have two children, one will live, the other will die…and you will have to choose. A young American couple are raising two children in India. When the mom’s car is caught in a flash flood and washed into the river, her son’s seat belt is wedged under the damaged car door. Her younger daughter is unconscious and the car’s interior is quickly filling with water. The mom, Maria, (Sarah Wayne Callies) has to make the toughest choice ever, deciding which child she will save from drowning.
Totally broken by the incident, the housekeeper informs Maria of a way that she can speak with her dead son, make peace and say she’s sorry for how the accident turned out. Maria travels by day to a remote temple in the woods where she performs a ritual. As night falls so does the divider between life and death. She doesn’t follow the rules and her son, in ghost form, returns to the house with her. There are signs that he is in the house, piano notes, toys, but there is also a wicked evil streak in him. Meanwhile death is stalking the family in order to balance the world and bring the boys soul back to the netherworld.
There are some genuinely creepy moments in this film, but as a whole it seems to languish in its own breadth. There’s an overall subdued and melancholy atmosphere that pervades. At each point that the film begins to build tension it releases it to yet another lull. I enjoyed the India mythology and folklore. It was a lot to introduce, but similar lore has been in past films. The movie just never built enough steam to keep me in a state of heightened alert. The energy level was flat until the last half hour. Despite the slow pace, the ending was very good. It’s not a terrible movie but it never reached its ultimate potential. It hovers midway between good and not-so-good.
A decent story and new mythologies are interesting but the pacing never lets the tension build.
I give it 2.5 eerie ritual resurrections out of 5 on the shadows of the netherworld scale.