In the past two months, there have been a number of wide-release horror films, all focused on an American overseas encountering a supernatural entity of some kind (almost always a ghost). In The Forest – it was Natalie Dormer in Japan versus a ghost; in The Boy – it was Lauren Cohan in Britain versus a ‘ghost’; and in this week’s The Other Side of the Door, it’s Sarah Wayne Callies in India versus, well, a ghost. Setting the standard ‘woman terrorized by an angry spirit’ in a foreign locale adds flavor to the well-worn genre both in setting and theme. Aesthetically – the locale of an Indian tomb or a Victorian haunted house or Japanese woodland presents something far more colorful than the typical cabin in a woods/suburban home/backwoods forest. Thematically – the fish out of water element (American in foreign land) mirrors the displacement of a ghost in the natural world.
In The Other Side of the Door, Sarah Wayne Callies and Jeremy Sisto star as Maria & Michael, expats raising a family in India. After a horrific accident claims the life of her youngest son, Maria, clouded in depression, seeks out an ancient temple with the power to communicate to the recently departed. The catch – you can only speak with the deceased through the temple door, but must never open the door to see your loved one. Maria naturally can’t abide by these rules, opening the door and releasing a spirit far more nefarious than an eight-year-old boy.
In the following interview with producer Alexandre Aja and co-star Jeremy Sisto, the duo discuss which horror films served as reference for The Other Side of the Door, their most memorable moments from shooting and how the movie changed (or not) from conception to shooting. For the full interview, watch below.
Alexandre Aja & Jeremy Sisto:
- Aja & Sisto on their favorite ghost stories
- On what films influenced The Other Side of the Door
- Sisto on getting into the right headspace for the film’s emotional moments
- Sisto on researching expats and Indian customs
- On the most memorable moments from shooting
- Aja on how the movie changed when he got involved as a producer