Horror Short THE OTHER SIDE Delivers The Shocking Goods

Sean Smithson, Contributor

You want to see one of the most affective, lean, and scary short horror films currently making the rounds? Then get yourself to a screening of The Other Side. It delivers in it's 20 minute run-time what many of the current nu-jack horror crew hasn't, which is something that is actually scary.

Here is a quick synopsis -
"When a fresh faced nanny arrives at her new job on a creaky farm in the English countryside, she is instantly caught up in the turbulent relationship of her employers. James is struggling to provide for his family and Rachel, an inexperienced mother, is unable to cope with the demands of her new born baby. Unaware of his wife's decision to hire help, a disgruntled James leaves them alone in the secluded farmhouse. When night falls and he fails to return, a sinister intruder invades the property, unraveling a night of gruesome blood-shed and unprecedented terror. But who is behind it? What do they want? Can anybody escape alive?"

While young turk genre names are making romantic comedies out Hello-Kitty-fying horror (cough Holliston cough), people like producer James Pears and directors The Santoro Bros are keeping it real, aiming a bit higher, and at a truer target.
  
One of the things I loved about The Other Side is, it doesn't try to be another retro homage piece, with crappy Adobe post fx pandering to the cinematic toilets of the past. This is not ironic or cute, and exists to do one thing...scare you. And scare you it does, The Other Side features well-known genre fan turned film maker Paul Davis (Beware The Moon: Remembering An American Werewolf In London) in the role of the skull masked killer Death Face, who is the single most "attractive" screen slasher I've seen since Victor Crowley, and Mr. Davis indeed has a gift for embodying a lumbering, supernatural stalker.
The rest of the cast is top notch as well, featuring Nick Moran (Harry Potter), Amelia Warner (Mansfield Park), and Jennie Jacques (Cherry Tree Lane), who all provide another layer so desperately lacking in 99% of short films..good acting.

The crew have all worked on notable productions, and some downright classics like A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. Particular credit I think needs to go to cinematographer Wedigo von Shultzdorf, who shot the beautiful looking genre flick Pandorum a few years back, in which Shultzdorf's eye basically saved the day, the amazing Ben Foster be damned. He also did one of my favorite films ever, Igby Goes Down. Just sayin'!

Stylistic sign posts in The Other Side point towards Alexander Aja's High Tension, Dark Kight Of The Scarecrow, and John Carpenter's Halloween. Big words, but deserved. Many times I will see a feature and walk away thinking "That would have made a wonderful short, but it's not a full length" but it is beyond rare when I watch a short film and say to myself "That really could have been a feature", at least within the bounds of the horror genre. I was mumbling this to myself within the first few minutes of it's 20 minute runtime.  Now, like any chase and kill flick, there are beats that must be hit, and they are here, and anyone versed in the genre will know at times what is coming. Here is where I add, for me at least, horror isn't necessarily about originality of concept, it's about the execution. And indeed, the cast and crew of The Other Side have really pulled the rabbit out of the hat here, with a tight product, that proves there's still life in the old knife and mask scenario yet!

The Other Side has been accepted into Screamfest LA, as well as The Telluride Horror Show , so you lucky Los Angeles and Texas dwelling readers. here's your chance. Other bookings are TBA, so keep your eyes peeled. Seriously horror geeks...keep this on your radar.

Producer James Pears and star Paul Davis are currently putting together their next film Him, Indoors, which centers around a serial killer who suffers from agoraphobia. From what I've read it sounds near brilliant, so here's hoping for more lightning from them.

You can purchast tickets to the wonderful Screamfest LA HERE and the Telluride Horror Show HERE. Be sure to check out the Offical Site  for The Other Side as well, to learn more. Check the trailer below the break.

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