The Other is available in: Arabic [Original] on Netflix UK
Chilling and eerie, this supernatural tale of good versus evil coils around twin brothers living with their grandmother in a sleepy rural area during the summer of 1935. After his grandmother encourages Niles to develop what seem to be psychic gifts, Niles starts to suspect that his twin may be involved in recent fatal accidents.
When a graduate student elopes with a plucky reporter, his wealthy, possessive mother connives with his militant brother-in-law to wreck the union.
The Other is directed by Robert Mulligan and written by Tom Tryon. It stars Uta Hagen, Diana Muldaur, Chris and Martin Uldvarnoky, Norma Connolly and Victor French. Music is by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by Robert Surtees.
We are in the mid 1930s in rural America and twin boys Niles and Holland Perry are playing merrily. This idyllic farm setting is merely a smoke screen for turbulence about to be unleashed…
This is one of those psychological horror movies that has a strong fan base which has in turn earned it cult status. Adapted by former actor Thomas Tryon from his own best-selling novel, the story revolves around twin boys and the premise of one being good, the other not so. Very much slow and draggy for the first two thirds, and even a little irksome, pic is ultimately saved by its twists and shattering moments of clarity.
It will (has) been argued by fans that the first hour is subtle, both in build up and suggestion, but the acting is over the top, director Mulligan unable to haul his cast in, while the pivot pin revelation is something of a cheat when viewed on repeat terms. It’s important to note that Tryon himself was unhappy with the end product, for various reasons, and yet still the pic is much loved.
Undeniably there’s a haunting quality about the piece, the pretty landscape hiding the troubling nastiness bubbling away under the surface – the serene qualities aided by class operators Goldsmith and Surtees. The focal point of children being cruel and the parenting of such does fire food for thought process, while the finale is darkness personified.
For me it was a disappointment, I took two runs at it and it’s not going to stick around to be viewed again. I will move the DVD on to someone who will hopefully get much more from it and join the hardy souls who love it so. 5/10