(out of 5)
directed by: Raymond Mongelli III, Chris Niespodzianski
starring: Chad Conley, Danielle Lozeau, Christine Starkey, Benjamin Sheeler, Michelle Cobin, Jack David, Chuck Hendershot, Robert Liscio, Matt Bright, Sean Scott, Christopher Murphy, Will Guffy
Tagline: Where Will You Be When It Begins?
Right off the bat I know what everyone is saying, "Not another zombie film!" Well sorry but I for one love watching zombie films and most especially when the film is located in the root area of flesh eating zombie culture Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Not only was it shot here but with the exception of only 3 or 4 members of the actors and crew the entire production were from the area including the music used for the film. Ok sold for me right there.
I will get one thing out of the way about this movie, it's not a zombedy as I call them. That's really the only kind of zombie film I'm sick of. Whether they run, walk, or shamble along I like my zombies to be scary. Sure there's a Shaun of the Dead here and there but I like to be scared otherwise I'd pick a different genre to blog about. The Other Side is primarily about Chris played excellently by Chad Conley who is in search of his wife Ash who has pulled yet another one of her disappearing acts. The only problem is this time it isn't just Ash who has disappeared there are disappearances happening all over town and the local Sheriff played by Benjamin Sheeler can't make heads or tales of it. There really is a solid level of acting done by just about every person in this film. Our arrogant town Mayor was a bit overdone but all in all the man came across as an asshole I hated so he did his job well I suppose. The shining star of the film was most definitely Christine Starkey who really showed a nice range of emotion beginning to end.
I really cared about the characters in The Other Side, flawed as they were which made them a lot more human and identifiable. The hero himself isn't exactly the greatest guy in the world but I was cheering him on per say every step of the way. I also really enjoyed the special fx in this with a combination of a new and old school style which is almost always what I prefer. People go on about non-cgi etc. but really it's just another way to make an effect come to life. And I will be the first to hate on the overuse of cgi of anykind unless you're going for the animated look but in this movie nope that wasn't the case.
I know what the first two gripes for this movie are going to be. "Slow paced and not enough zombie time..." well I hear this so much when it comes to even the Walking Dead (hundreds of zombies every season) and all I can say is "Don't watch the original Romero films!" Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are both mostly about people talking and their drama. Problem is nowadays no one remembers that and just want to see a bunch of zombies eating people and nothing else because that's all the imagination people seem to have about zombies. People don't understand that movies like this ARE about the characters and the undead are just background. Anywho The Other Side focuses on the characters and their development throughout the crisis of the film. The breakdown of society in the form of a small town striving for progression. So if you are wanting a fast paced zombie packed "Day of the Dead" style zombie movie you won't get it here. What you do get is a zombie film about everyday characters you actually care for instead of just waiting for them to be eaten.
I highly recommend the film for all zombie lovers and most especially for independent film lovers because for me it was a nice breath of fresh air zombie apocalypse style.