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Released in 1972, "The Other" is rather eerie with supernatural overtones, including a magic ring and a strange "game" the boys like to play with the help of their grandmother (the talented stage actress Uta Hagen). The tone is helped immensely by the controlled direction of Robert Mulligan ("To Kill a Mockingbird") as well as uniformly good acting; the twins are played skillfully by Chris and Martin Udvarnoky - this movie was their only one.
On the negative side, the story builds very slowly, and some viewers may be put off by the languid first half. However, the movie definitely pays off: the last 20 minutes are tense and chilling. There are a number of twists -- mostly obvious but very effective nevertheless. Overall, "The Other" is a solid suspense film that will entertain viewers who enjoy atmospheric chillers. Hopefully, it will be released soon on DVD, as the cinematography is really quite beautiful.
Director Mulligan worked against convention, filming his classic in bright open sunlight, instead of the creepy shadow and low-key stage lighting dictated by Gothic tradition. But the style works, thanks to a fluid and highly intelligent camera. Watch the opening scene, as the slow pan meanders its way toward the solitary boy revealed finally in dreamy soft focus. This reverie sets the perfect psychological tone for the story and is key to the over-arching plot device. There are other moments of slow, silent pans that lend both atmosphere and creepy suspense, and I particularly like the way Mulligan stays with Niles' little world in spellbinding fashion. That way, the surrounding mayhem is only glimpsed and not belabored, allowing our imagination room to take over. For fans of the genre, his technique is reminiscent of Peter Weir's 1970's co-classic, Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Horror films rarely rely on acting for their impact. This one, however -- as other reviewers point out -- is a rarity. The performances are first-rate, particularly the astonishingly fine turn by the Udvarnoky twins. Chris who plays Niles achieves a naturalness and spontaneity that is itself almost scary.Read more ›
WARNING: A few of the reviews here at Amazon give away key surprises and plot twists. I therefore strongly recommend, if you haven't seen this film, to see it before reading any of these tell-all, giveaway reviews.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the all time classic horror movies...well done and glad to have finally added it to my collection.Published 1 month ago by Philip A. Schultz
This movie is a snooze fest. I fell asleep and missed nothing. Boring.Published 2 months ago by Not generally fond of Chick Lit
Loved this movie since first seeing it in the late 70s. So glad it's finally available on DVD.Published 4 months ago by A Mallory
Not what I expected. It was old fashioned, confusing right up to the end, and I was disappointed. Not sure why everyone else thought it was such a great movie.Published 4 months ago by marlene whtn
wasn't the movie I thought it was, but it was a good moviePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
arrived in good time, wrapped well, in great condition made well and do just what I wanted. a great buy, a great deal, and noooo problems!Published 7 months ago by crystal angels
Great older movie that still scares with the best of them!Published 8 months ago by Martha S. Jones
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