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March 20th, 2016

The Other Side of The Door Poster

The Other Side of the Door

A family lives an idyllic existence abroad until a tragic accident takes the life of their young son. The inconsolable mother learns of an ancient ritual that will bring him back to say a final goodbye. She travels to an ancient temple, where a door serves as a mysterious portal between two worlds. However, when she disobeys a sacred warning about never opening that door, she upsets the balance between life and death.

The fine line between the living and the dead has long fascinated writer-director Johannes Roberts, who had been exploring the concept of a spirit that lived on the other side of a foreboding door. “I love stories that deal with the forbidden -- don't go up in the attic, don't feed the gremlins after midnight – when you’re wondering what's going to happen and when is it going to happen.”

Having come off the film STORAGE 24, co-financed by the India-based Medient Studios, Roberts became intrigued by the idea of setting his new film in India, and he began researching Indian folklore. Roberts learned of an abandoned Indian village, Bhangarh, which was rumored to have a haunted temple that warned visitors it was illegal to enter at night. That notion immediately struck a chord with the filmmaker. “The concept of being warned against opening the door, and a village where the ghosts of the dead walk after sunset, really clicked together for me,” says Roberts, who began working on a script with his longtime writing partner Ernest Riera.

“Johannes came to me with this idea of a woman who lost a son, but who could talk to him through a temple door,” says Riera. After months of scribbling ideas on napkins and coffee stirrers, they knew they were onto something special.

As a diehard genre fan, Roberts says he “enjoys connecting with my own fears, escaping from everyday life, and experiencing a catharsis. While writing the screenplay, Roberts and Riera felt immersed in their own ghost story. “Writing is like watching a horror film – when we start writing we become obsessed, and when we finish it we are possessed by the story,” Roberts notes.

Even before travelling to India, Roberts had decided he wanted audiences to experience the genre through a different cultural lens. “When I did visit the city of Mumbai in India, I discovered a fascinating, dark city, and not the relaxing ‘Hotel Marigold’ version,” Roberts recalls. “I really liked that.”

Riera continues, “We wanted to find a setting for the film in a faraway country, which would facilitate a suspension of disbelief in ghosts.”

The Other Side of the Door - Movie Stills

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