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The Other Side of the Door

MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for some bloody violence.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan

Moral Rating: Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Supernatural Suspense Horror
Length: 1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release: 2016
USA Release: March 4, 2016 (wide—500+ theaters)
DVD: June 7, 2016
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Relevant Issues

death in the Bible

ghosts and spirits in the Bible

familiar spirits


eternal life versus eternal death

demons in the Bible

Satan / Devil

Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

DEMON POSSESSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer

goodness and righteousness

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Featuring Sarah Wayne Callies … Maria
Jeremy Sisto … Michael
Javier Botet … Myrtu
Sofia Rosinsky … Lucy
Jax Malcolm … Oliver (Voice Over)
Logan Creran … Oliver
Suchitra Pillai-Malik … Piki
Director Johannes Roberts
Producer 42
Kriti Productions
Paul Blacknell
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Trademark logo.
20th Century Studios
, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company

Maria and Michael have established a life as well respected antique deakers. As such, they have decided to live and move their operations to India and raise a family—a daughter, named Lucy, and a son, named Oliver.

One day, a car accident results in the death of their son Oliver. A few months go by and while Michael and Lucy have, for the most part, tried to resume their daily routine, but Maria can’t let go. Maria feels she never truly got to say goodbye to her son.

Realizing how much pain Maria is in, the Indian housekeeper, Piki, suggests Maria visit the Temple in Piki’s home in South India. This temple, she mentions, serves as the gateway between the living and the dead. She tells Maria to spread Oliver’s ashes on the steps, lock herself in the temple, and she will be able to communicate with Oliver one final time, in order to say goodbye. She warns Maria, though, that no matter what Oliver says, she must…not…open…the door.

At first, Maria is hesitant, but she eventually decides to visit the temple. She is able to communicate with Oliver. Oliver pleads with her to open the door. She resists, at first, knowing she very well can’t. But as Oliver starts to leave, she, of course, opens the door! Now, the path between the living and the dead has been crossed, and there’ no telling what will occur…

I’ll just come right out and say it… I had higher expectations for this film. Parts are enjoyable. The lighting effects are fine. The acting is alright. The music is very eerie and unsettling. The moments that are terrifying, which are more disturbing than “jumpy,” are truly terrifying. For what this film lacks in scares, it does, however, make up for in suspense, and for that I give it credit.

Still, for a movie that is categorized as horror film, this aligns itself as more of a suspense thriller. That’s fine, but a suspense film wasn’t what I was looking for walking in, and so the lack of scares was the biggest disappointment with this film.

The other aspect that was somewhat, and I do say somewhat, disappointing was the overall pacing. The plot is simple, which is fine for a horror film, but it moves at an incredibly slow pace (the film’s length is 90 minutes, but it felt like two hours). The plot does contain a genuine twist in the end, I wasn’t expecting, that was rather pleasant, but again, this is weakened by a rather lackluster ending.

Violence: Moderate. Someone overdoses on drugs. In a flashback, we see a car in a river with people struggling to get out. There is a drowning. Two characters are killed. A townsperson is seen lying dead in the street with his head twisted to the side after being hit by a car. A dog is killed (off screen). There are several moments of terror. One character is also stabbed.

Profanity: None

Sex/Nudity: Minor. Married Maria and Michael are seen in bed together. Michael begins to undress Maria, they kiss, and start to have sex (the camera fades quickly and nothing graphic is shown)

Other: There are scenes involving blood, including one where a girl is seen with blood pouring from her eyes. Piki mentions a group that feeds themselves by eating dead human bodies. This group is shown several times, chanting and performing various rituals, which in part influences the above moral rating. A character becomes possessed at one point (this also influenced the rating). We also see various dead crows, cockroaches and dead animals. Bite marks are seen on a girl.

This film takes an unbiblical and pagan approach to the concept of life and death, as well as good and evil (for example, in the film Piki makes mention that the keeper of the underworld will stop at nothing to drag Oliver back to the underworld, because Oliver died and is now an evil spirit).

This film deals with two main issues: grief and what occurs after death. While it is important to discuss grief, there is one scene that stuck in my mind as I left the theater. It is a scene where Maria is tucking Lucy in bed (I am paraphrasing here and negating the first character’s name to avoid a spoiler):

Lucy: “Mommy, do you think _________ is in heaven?”
Maria: “Yes, I think she is.”
Lucy: “Then why isn’t Oliver in heaven?”

This scene reminded me that we live in a world where most believe that by simply living good lives or by performing good deeds, our actions will somehow gain our entrance to heaven—that we somehow have to earn our way to eternal life.

Of course, this is contrary to the Word. Our deeds cannot directly get us to Heaven. We cannot earn our way into Heaven. It is a gift through repentance and believing in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed himself for our sins on the cross.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. —Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)

Eternal life is a gift, and our Lord Himself is “the door” (John 10:9) to paradise. Open this door and enter in.

While parts of “The Other Side of the Door” are well-executed, I don’t recommend seeing “The Other Side of the Door,” plain and simple. It’s just not that great of a horror film. It’s not horrible, but it’s not great—or uplifting or beneficial. There is also violence and spiritual deception to contend with.

Violence: Moderate to heavy / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Minor

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?Why is the world the way it is (filled with DEATH, oppression, suffering, and cruelty)? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

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