In recent years, the zombie genre has been beaten into the ground. This has occurred not only in wide-release big budgeted films but in the independent horror scene as well. You might think that you’ve seen it all considering just how many zombie movies have been made. Then a movie like “The Other Side” comes along and makes you remember why you love zombie films.
The main story of “ The Other Side ” is of a man who searches for his missing wife while there is a Zombie outbreak in town. There are also a number of subplots that give us different perspectives on how the zombie outbreak is affecting the town. One of the things that stands out right away is that co-directors Chris Niespodzianski & Raymond Mongelli, III are bringing us a serious zombie film, as opposed to the a tongue-in-cheek type of zombie film that has been the mainstay of recent indie zombie horror. While there is nothing wrong with the tongue-in-cheek movie, it is good to see someone tell a serious story on the subject. The script from Chris Niespodzianski reminds me a lot of the original “Night of the Living Dead” where the focus is more on the people than the zombies.
Chad Conley gives us a solid performance as Chris Sullivan, a man who is desperately searching for his missing wife, Ashley, who has a history of running away. He is still trying to deal with feelings of guilt due to something that happened between the two. Chad juggles the emotions his character is feeling and conveys them on screen. The audience will feel a connection with him even when they learn of his past. Another strong performance is from Danielle Lozeau who plays Natalie, Ashley’s sister. She puts in a strong emotional performance and is able to go from zero to bitch at the snap of the fingers.The scenes between Danielle and Chad had an emotional kick to them that added a level of serious drama to the movie. There are a number of dramatic moments in this film giving all the characters unexpected depth. One of the supporting characters that stood out was Police Chief Earl Dodson played by Benjamin Sheeler. He brought the right amount of toughness needed for the role without it being too over the top.
The production quality of this film is top notch. You can tell they used every dollar of its fifty thousand dollar budget into making the best movie they could. The makeup effects on the zombies looked realistically horrific. The practical gore effects in the film were also well done. There were over 150 extras in the film, including children. I do not think I have ever seen this many zombie children in one movie before. Audio quality never fluctuated in the movie and the songs used on the soundtrack were fitting for the scenes. While there are dramatic moments in the film it never slows down in its pace. The characters are interesting and the twist at the end will surprise viewers. This is the first picture from Orchard Place Productions and I cannot wait to see what they make next.
“The Other Side” is a refreshing, original story that reminds us why we love zombie movies. It also gives us hope for the independent zombie film genre by showing us there are still more ways to tell a good story about the undead. I give “The Other Side” 4.5 out 5 Stubs
If you are interested you can go to their home page and purchase the DVD and soundtrack here. http://TeamOrchard.com