ABC Film Challenge – Horror – O – The Other Side of the Door (2016)

Director: Johannes Roberts

Writer: Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Sofia Rosinsky, Logan Creran, Suchitra Pillai

 

Plot: After her young son is killed in a tragic accident, a woman learns of a ritual which will bring him back to say goodbye, but when she disobeys a sacred warning, she upsets the balance between life and death.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average at Best

 

Story: The Other Side of the Door starts as our family Maria (Callies), Michael (Sisto) and children Oliver (Creran) and Lucy (Rosinsky) relocate to India for work, with things sounding almost perfect disaster strikes the family, Oliver the eldest son is killed in an accident, leaving Maria with nightmares of not being able to save him.

Learning of a ritual which would give Maria a chance to communicate deceased son she goes along with the idea. The ritual involves being able to talk through a door, but the rule is, you must never open the door.

Maria doesn’t follow this instruction and opens the door too early, upon returning home the Maria and daughter Lucy start believing Oliver has returned but with this comes consequences Maria hadn’t even began to imagine.

 

Thoughts on The Other Side of the Door

 

Characters/PerformanceMaria is a grieving mother still struggling with the idea that she couldn’t save her son from an accident, she even tries to kill herself but when she learns of a method to say goodbye she goes too far and releases the dead, now with a smile on her face she must face the consequences she has created. Michael is the husband but isn’t involved in too much of the events of the film. Lucy is the daughter that was saved in the accident and befriends the spirit Oliver.

Performance wise, Sarah is fine in the leading role but doesn’t go down as one of the better horror performances. Jeremy is fine but under used in the film while the rest of the cast don’t make much of an impact either.

StoryAmerican woman in a new country loses son and learns of a local ritual she could never understand that could give her one last conversation with her son but breaks the rules. This is ABC stuff with little to no twists along the way and tries to play into the idea that Indian culture can speak to the dead which I am not sure how actuate this is.

HorrorWe have simple scares that a horror fan will know are coming and end up just not hitting the marks it needs too.

SettingsThe film is set in India but apart from a couple of odd moments in the streets you could have guessed this would have been any location really.

Special EffectsThe effects are all fine, good when used and mostly practical.

Final ThoughtsThis horror misses the potential it could have had, the problem is trying to give us a new culture clashing with American making the mistakes but it just doesn’t click.

 

Overall: This horror mostly plain and not hitting the levels.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – May (2002)

mayDirector: Lucky McKee

Writer: Lucky McKee (Screenplay)

Starring: Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris, James Duval, Nichole Hiltz, Kevin Gage, Nora Zehetner

 

Plot: A lonely young woman traumatized by a difficult childhood and her increasingly desperate attempts to connect with the people around her is sent into a murderous tailspin.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gem of a Horror

 

Story: May starts as we meet the socially awkward veteran nurse May (Bettis) who has spent years struggling to fit in due to her insecurities about her lazy eye. When she sees Adam (Sisto) she decides to take a chance to try and impress him grabbing his attention.

When things don’t go to plan May decides to take drastic action to make sure she gets a chance to lice the happy every after she has only ever dreamt of having.

May is a film that even at 13 years old is one that keeps getting spoken about as one of the most popular within the horror fan scene. It is easy to see why this is too because the character May is created perfectly for this genre and her actions drawn from not fitting in like most horror characters. While this does have moments that come off slow the slow build gets excellent pay off in the final act.

 

Overall: One of the true horror gems that I would expect all horror fans to have seen.

Rating75

 

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Population 436 (2006)

populationDirector: Michelle MacLaren

Writer: Michelle MacLaren (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeremy Sisto, Fred Durst, Charlotte Sullivan, Peter Outerbridge

 

Plot: A census-taker (Sisto) is sent to investigate why a certain small town has had the same population — 436 residents — for the last 100 years.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Mystery Thriller

 

Story: Population 436 starts as we see a desperate race to a hospital for a mother to be only for her car to be involved in an accident, luckily the baby is rescued. We got on to meet Steve Kady (Sisto) who has been looking for Rockwell Falls, upon arriving he damages his car before Deputy Bobby Caine (Durst) brings him back to town once he discovers that Steve is from the census department.

The town’s people welcome Steve with open arms giving him a roof over his head with the beautiful Courtney Lovett (Sullivan) as we see the town preparing for an annual festival. Steve is investigating why the town has had the same population 436 for nearly 100 years.

As Steve spends more time in the town he starts to find himself wondering what is going on in the town when strange action and words come from their mouths of the locals as well as getting in the middle of the relationship between Courtney and Bobby. Steve also discovers there is a mystery fever going around the town that puts the escape from the town an impossible task.

Population 436 brings us into a cult like environment as we follow one man who enters into the world of this one town and its belief that they are being guarded by God. We get to see how everything comes off welcoming and this tries to put Steve at ease but we get a lot of foreshadowing through this film. This does keep us guessing and after that one moment of shock really is the only part of the film that reaches true horror levels.

 

Actor Review

 

Jeremy Sisto: Steve Kady works for the census department who is sent to Rockwell Falls to take up on why the town has had the same population for almost a century. Once in the town he starts to find himself known by everyone in the town but ends up finding out not everything is what it seems. Jeremy is solid in this role but like most of the film is slightly lacklustre.

Fred Durst: Deputy Bobby Caine is the man that brings Steve to the town, he has grown up in the town and with Courtney who he one days wants to ask to marry him. He comes off as the friend of Steve through his time there but that will change in time. Fred is solid in this role which is good early steps into acting career

Charlotte Sullivan: Courtney Lovett is the beautiful lady in the town, she has a desire to leave the town but keeps it hidden from the community. She sees Steve as her way out but how much is she willing to risk. Charlotte is good but I feel we could have seen a lot more from her.

Peter Outerbridge: Deputy Christian Hecker is the partner of Bobby who is against Steve from first sight, he comes off very shady through the film. Peter is basic in this supporting role but we don’t see his character enough.

Support Cast: Population 436 has a very basic supporting cast that really doesn’t stand out as anything special.

Director Review: Michelle MacLarenMichelle does a good job directing without make the real shock moments needed.

 

Horror: Population 436 has one brilliant horror scene without using the idea the film has enough.

Mystery: Population 436 does keep us wondering on where everything is going on.

Thriller: Population 436 has a small sense of tension throughout the film.

Settings: Population 436 keeps nearly all the setting are in this small town with very little place to escape.
Special Effects
: Population 436 has very basic effects with how certain moments.

Suggestion: Population 436 is one for the horror fans to try out. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Festival.

Worst Part: Not enough shock.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: The residents of Rockwell Falls are dying for you to visit.

 

Overall: Solid little horror film that really has good moments but not enough.

Ratingcard

 

Wrong Turn (2003)

logoDirector: Rob Schmidt

Writer: Alan B McElroy (Screenplay)

Starring: Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Sisto, Kevin Zegers, Lindy Booth, Julian Richings

 

Plot: Six people find themselves trapped in the woods of West Virginia, hunted down by “cannibalistic mountain men grossly disfigured through generations of in-breeding.”

 

Verdict: Still Want to go to the Woods?

 

Story: We start by seeing two students being taken from the rock climbing exercise followed by the news clippings of all the disappearance over the years. This makes the backstory of the cannibals complete. We then get to follow one of our heroes as he is desperately trying to make his way across country for a big interview, before crashing into five friends who have had a tire blowout. The group split up to try and find help but soon find themselves the latest targets of the cannibals.

When this first hit the screens the genre of cannibals was nowhere to be seen, this put everything back on the map. Though the story is very much the same as the whole stuck in the woods idea of previous times. We do get to see the survival attempts mixed in with the fight against an enemy they didn’t expect to go up against. It is good that we don’t get any silly horror mistakes, with the group trying to stay together; it is also good that we don’t see too much detail about how long everything had been going on, though I would have liked to have seen some potential warning ignored by the groups. In the end it is a solid horror story that never really challenges the audience. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Desmond Harrington: Chris on his way to a big interview when he gets caught up in traffic, he tries to find a back road but ends up crashing into the other group of people. He has to work with these people to find help but ends up join forces fighting to survive. Desmond gives a solid performance as the leading horror man. (7/10)

 des

Eliza Dushku: Jessie our leading lady who is on the trip with her friends because she has broken up with her boyfriend. She looks out for her friends but if left helpless to help any of them against the cannibals. Eliza does a good job in the leading lady role putting up a fight when she needed too. (7/10)

Support Cast: With the support cast comprising of the disposable friends and the cannibals themselves, each member does a good job to help keep the story rolling.

 

Director Review: Rob Schmidt – Solid direction to bring the cannibal genre back into the modern horror world. (7/10)

 

Horror: Not holding back on the kills as well as showing what the cannibals do with their victim’s works very well for horror levels. (8/10)

Thriller: You do end up getting near the edge of your seat wondering who will make it. (8/10)

Settings: The settings are used very well to create isolation without the completely trapped side for the story. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Good effects used to create the kills and what the cannibals do. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the horror fans out there, they will all enjoy this one. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The group escaping the house.

Worst Part: The supporting friends are too disposable.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Start of a franchise

Post Credits Scene: Near the beginning of the credits there is one.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $15.4 Million

Budget: $12.6 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

Tagline: It’s the last one you’ll ever take

Trivia: Desmond Harrington broke his ankle and Emmanuelle Chriqui dislocated her shoulder making this film.

 

Overall: If you go down to the woods today, you will become their breakfast

Rating 72