The Other on DVD and Blu-ray

Monday, 23 February 2015 00:00 Written by 

The Other - on dual formatb Blu-ray and DVD“The Other” is a psychological chiller about a series of horrific events that befall a family living on a New England farmstead in the 1930s. Thirteen-year-old, identical twins Niles and Holland Perry (Chris and Martin Udvarnoky) lead carefree lives whilst their mother (Star Trek: TNG's Dr Pulaski, Diana Muldaur) has withdrawn from public life, following the tragic death of her husband. Much of the brothers' care comes from their unusual grandmother Ada (Uta Hagen - "The Boys from Brazil").

Robert Mulligan ("To Kill a Mockingbird") directs, based on a best-selling novel by Thomas Tyron. The movie is tonally quite similar to "The Omen", although "The Other" keeps its cards much closer to its chest when it comes to questions of supernatural forces versus more natural ones. Holland is depicted as amoral, possibly evil, whilst Niles is the friendly and innocent sibling who struggles to resist his brother's wayward behaviour.

The juxtaposition of the relaxed, idyllic country location and the disastrous events that transpire creates an interesting contrast, I suppose a little like that witnessed in the "Friday the 13th" movies. A sinister atmosphere lurks at all times, thanks in no small part to the fact that we never see the boys on screen at the same time (I initially thought they were both played by the same actor!).

The film trades blood and guts for emotional disquiet, scraping away at the audience's minds and allowing just enough sign-posting of impending doom to make us squirm. The central performances of the boys and Hagen are bold and convincing, and the differences in the Udvarnoky's roles are quite subtle and realistic rather than a black and white, good versus evil delineation.

In summary, "The Other" is a good rather than classic horror movie that merits repeat viewings once the twists have been revealed.

Special features include:

  • Stunning new transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio in 1080p (Blu-ray only), and a progressive encode on the DVD
  • Optional English SDH
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • 24-page book with a new essay by Aaron Hills, and more

I advise viewers to only watch the trailer after the main feature. It is a great bit of marketing but includes a few too many glimpses of key events in the film.

“The Other’ (1972) is out now on dual-format DVD and Blu-ray (two discs), courtesy of Eureka. The main feature has a running time of 100 minutes approx., carries a ‘12’ certificate and retails for £17.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

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