“The Other Side of the Door” is a horror film like any other. It does not reach any new heights, it does not provide any shocking jump-scares, it barely offers a speck of individuality in general. It follows a similar formula that was instated in the early 2000s, and reinforced to the brim in 2009 and 2010. This film is a frustrating attempt at bringing another culture into an American-made horror film.
“The Other Side of the Door” is about a mourning family trying to cope with the death of the oldest child after a tragic accident. In attempting to do so for the sake of her surviving child, a mother desperate to reach some sort of closure goes through more supernatural channels. Though she was warned to follow a ritual to every detail as to not only respect the culture she is not a part of but also the otherworldly forces she wishes to meddle with, she selfishly ignores the rules she receives from her friend, and opens the door.
This is more than just a metaphor; by physically opening the door and acting on her desire to see her son, she actually opens the door that connects our world to a sort of purgatory.
It feels as though those who made this film disregarded the opportunities they had to bring in information about another culture, and stuck to the same ‘09/’10 formula. Everything is normal with a normal family until it isn’t, and in the end the story closes and the family is back to normal—or is it?
Sure, the malevolent demon has characteristics that resonate with the country in which the movie takes place, but that’s really all the representation that the culture gets. The opportunities to bring in stories, names, folklore in general was completely ignored for the sake of some histrionic woman to be the victim throughout.