January 31, 2013
Chris and Martin Udvarnoky and Uta Hagen
One of my favorite hobbies in the world is trying to track
copies of obscure horror movies. This is something that I do
CONSTANTLY. Ever since I was about fifteen years old, I am
always trying to track down some random obscure horror movie that
somebody was raving about on a message board because it
creeped them out in 1975, but they never saw it
it was never released on video. This is the kind of stuff that I read
and I remember. And I will file it away somewhere in the back
my head. And then afterwards I will spend the next
trying to see if I can track down a copy of it and see it for myself.
In fact, if you asked me what my all time specialty movie
category would be, I wouldn't even have to think about it. It
would be this. Obscure horror movies. This category
of movie has
been my bread and butter for nearly 25 years.
Well there is one movie that almost ALWAYS shows up on lists of
"great horror movies that most people have never seen." It is
called The Other and it is from 1972. And it is a movie that,
surprisingly, I wasn't even all that familiar with until a couple of
years ago. This movie is so obscure that even people who keep
lists of great forgotten horror movies sometimes aren't even aware of
Like I said, I am constantly seeking out recommendations for
good horror movies. Although I have to add a small asterisk
that. I don't really like gory horror movies. And I
couldn't care less about torture movies or about most slasher
No, the kind of movies that I am interested in are the creepy
ones. The psychological ones. I love the ones that
are disturbing and that just sort of get under your skin. In
the greatest recommendation I could ever read about a horror movie is
the phrase "I saw this movie when I was a kid and it messed me up."
Either that or "I only saw this movie once, twenty years ago,
I have never forgotten it."
Any time you see something like that
in a review of a horror movie, that is when you know you are talking
special. Because THOSE are the horror movies that tend to be
great. The ones that a kid saw one time in 1976, and he never
forgot it because it got under his skin. That is the kind of
psychological stuff that I am always on the lookout for.
Well as you can guess, The Other is just like that. If you
around the internet a little and you read about it, you will see those
comments about it over and over and over. "It got under my
"It was hard to sleep after I saw this movie."
kids creeped me out." "Why did I see this when I was ten?"
Oh and my favorite, "I hate this movie, it messed me up."
Dead Baby Nightmare Fuel
The Other is the story of twin brothers who live on a farm in
1930's. Their names are Niles and Holland. And of
since this is a horror movie, one of them is good and the
The good one (Niles) is constantly trying to do good things like being
nice to his mother. And doing his chores and cleaning up his
the evil one (Holland) is constantly doing things like putting a
pitchfork in the
hayloft of his neighbor's barn. So when a kid jumps
off the loft and into the hay, he will impale himself.
know, just stuff like that. It is your typical
horror movie. They were big into their evil little kids back
Niles watching Holland being up to no good
The Other is one of those movies that I don't want you tell you too
much about ahead of time. Because it is best if you just sort
experience it for yourself. It is best to go into it knowing
nothing about it, so you can just sit back and experience its... well,
lack of a better term... you can experience its wrongness.
Because that really is the
best way to describe it. The Other isn't gory. It
gross. I don't think there is a drop of blood in the entire
movie. Oh but you will most certainly remember it.
are very few movies that have ever been as... again, for lack of a
better term... as wrong as this one.
When I first saw it, I
immediately understood why so many people were messed up when they
first saw it back in 1972. This is the kind of movie that was
doing stuff that other horror movies hadn't even thought of before.
in point: You know The Shining? You know
Torrance had a gift where he could see through other people's eyes, and
how it was kind of creepy? Well Stephen King pretty much
that right out of The Other. Niles and Holland have a game
they play with their grandmother that is just called "the game."
And it is basically the exact same thing as The Shine.
They can get into other people's heads and get into their
Grandma teaching Niles how to play "The Game"
The Other (which is based on a book) came out in 1972 and it was a
fairly modest hit. It wasn't a huge blockbuster by any
stretch of the
imagination, but then again they really didn't have blockbusters the
way we know them back then, so I don't know what I would use as a
modern comparison. This was two years before I was born so
know is what I have read about it. I know that The Other came
in 1972, I know that it scared a lot of people, and then for whatever
reason I know that it just sort of disappeared. From what I
have read, it
showed up as a TV movie a couple of times in the mid 70's, and it
creeped out a whole new generation of viewers, but other than that this
movie was effectively gone after about 1979. I don't know if
was ever released on video. From what I have read about it, I
don't think it ever was. It just sort of vanished
into the nether world.
I first heard about The Other sometime around the year 2005.
doing my usual search around the internet, looking for obscure scary
movies that I had
never heard of before. And there it was, in some random post
some random message board about psychological horror movies.
The Other. "This is the scariest
movie I have ever seen."
Hmm, that's interesting.
How come I had never heard of this movie before? I
I knew just about every horror movie. Well now I was curious.
that post, I saw a few responses come in from other people who had
also grown up in the early 70's. "Oh yeah, The
That movie creeped me out!" "Holy shit, whatever
to that movie?" "I HATED that movie! I hated those
kids, that movie was scary as hell." "I have never trusted
again after I watched that movie."
Again, I see reviews like that and I know I am on to something.
That is the kind of movie that needs to be found.
I looked for a copy of The Other for about three years.
Nothing. It was impossible to find anywhere in the
I even looked in China, and you couldn't even find it in
And those fuckers will bootleg anything. This movie
absolutely impossible to get a hold of anywhere on the planet Earth.
After three years, I was ready to write it off as having been
And then, one day, it happened. I don't know how this
happened, I don't know why it happened. All I know is that
one day, whichever
deity in charge that day was smiling down on me.
In 2008, we
happened to have a free preview of the American Movie Classics
channel for a week. Just a week. That was the only
this possibly could have happened in. And as I was scanning
through the AMC lineup for the week (not expecting to find anything
interesting) suddenly my eyes nearly popped out of my head.
Because there it was, listed as the late night Friday night
"The Other (1972) - Twin brothers grow up on a farm in New
England and cause trouble."
There could not have been a movie that was ever DVR'd any faster than
So anyway, there you go. The Other. A movie that
will mess you up. A movie that messed countless kids up in
early 70's. A movie you will never forget.
The bad news is
that The Other is still relatively difficult to find. I mean,
it's not the kind of movie where you can just walk down to Blockbuster
and grab it off the shelf. I have never seen it in a video
in my life in over 30 years. And assuming that video stores
actually still exist,
I doubt that I ever will. This is the sort of movie that you
either have to record off TV, you have to buy off Amazon, or
to find somewhere on the internet.
The GOOD news is that finding a copy of The
Other on the internet is much easier now than it was ten years ago.
It was released on DVD a couple of years ago, so you can just
it off of Amazon if you want now (I even included a link at the bottom
the page for your convenience). It is also available on
So at this point there really is no reason for you not to
have seen it.
If you are a fan of psychological horror movies, heck if you
a fan of the history of horror movies at all, this is one that you need
to see at least once. It is kind of a big deal.
And then after you watch it once,
start it over and watch it again. Because the second time
you will catch a lot more of the foreshadowing. :)
Such as the angel symbolism
One last thing before I finish this writeup.
favorite era of horror movies happens to be the early 70's. I
LOVE the way that they did horror back then. The movies were
very slow, they were very
deliberate, and the stories were very much based on dread.
didn't necessarily jump out at you every ten minutes, what scary movies
to do back then was take a nice slow buildup and milk it for 90
And then they would hit you at the end with all of the nasty
stuff. So the movie would slowly grow more ominous
ominous and more wrong until the actual horror happened.
a lot of the good movies from that time period were generally based
around creepy little kids. The Other has a lot in common with
Bad Seed and with The Omen. They are all children from the
exact same mother.
I guess I am saying here is, when you watch The Other, keep in mind
that horror movies were made much differently back then. They
weren't fast, they weren't obvious, they weren't made for people with a
short attention span. And they were most definitely not gory.
The Other is a movie that is filled with atmosphere, it is
with dread, and it is filled with foreshadowing. The first
you watch it you might think it is boring. You might think it
is slow. And you might not
understand what happens at the end. I know that I didn't, I
to start it over and watch it a second time.
And the second time I saw it, ah. That's when I got it.
Oh good job, movie, I see what you did there. Oh
and also, f you.
what I am saying is, this movie might seem slow to you the first time
you see it but give it a chance. It isn't really boring at
Everything you see in the movie has been placed in the movie
for a reason. It is all
just setup and foreshadowing.
Oh yeah, two last trivia notes about The Other.
The first trivia note is
that the actors who played the two little kids (Martin and Chris
acted in a movie again. Like John Denver in Oh, God! this was
their one and only shot at movie stardom. It came, it went,
and then they retired
and they went back to doing other stuff. Although what a
legacy that was if
you only get to make one film. They were the twins who messed
so many kids in the early 70's. I know that is more of a
than you or I will probably ever get.
The second piece of trivia about The
Other is that one of the co-stars is a young actor named John Ritter
(who of course
later shot to fame in the TV show Three's Company, among other things.)
isn't really all that important in the movie, but it is neat to see a
guy who later became famous in one of his very first movies.
John Ritter is
awfully young in The Other. He couldn't have been that far
out of college.
John Ritter reading about the Lindbergh kidnapping
Oh and because I love this movie so much, I am including my ten
favorite IMDB reviews instead of six. Check them out below.
There is a reason this movie is so notorious.
favorite IMDB user reviews about The Other:
Where's the baby
HOLLAND???, 22 October 2003
OH MY GOD.
movie is so creepy. I have to see if the DVD is available for this. I
remember this from childhood and just get chills from the sound echoing
in my head of a finger being cut off w/ garden shears, 'Shining' like
feeling of 'the game' and evil twin brother killing anyone that gets in
his path. Great direction, acting, and writing. I see here on imdb that
this same director did many great films 'To Kill a Mockingbird', 'Up
the Down Staircase', 'Same Time Next Year' You can really tell that an
experienced director made this film. John Ritter's first serious movie
part ever. Up there with some of the best Stephen King stories. The
Other will stay in your head whether you want it to or not.
Very Creepy! - 30 May 2008
are some movies that leave a lasting impression on us and for me, this
was certainly one of them. I have only seen it once, when I was about
19 years old and I am still telling my friends about this movie you
have to see. It's not going to impress you with special effects but the
apparently simple story line draws you in as you begin to identify with
the strong relationships between the main actors and how they deal with
their stable world that is beginning to unravel. I am reminded of The
Sixth Sense, The Village and The Silence of the Lambs in some ways. The
Other is one of those rare movies that has an ending that you really
could not predict even though you thought you had it nailed down, right
up to that moment when you realized that you didn't. When the movie was
over, the entire audience got up and we all walked out onto the street
and I vividly recall that no one spoke a single word. We were all just
pondering what we had just seen. We were stunned. It was awesome to get
to feel that creepy about a movie.
If you're patient...this
one pays off! - 19 January 2002
want to thank everyone else who wrote a commentary because it convinced
me to rent this little gem. "The Other" (1972) was one of the best
rentals I've had recently. I won't dare give away anything here, but if
you haven't seen it do so at once! Don't be alarmed if you think the
movie is going around in circles, it's not. You have to be pay
attention but you won't be disappointed if you do. What impresses me
the most is that this film doesn't employ any super-naturalism unlike
all other films of this nature which makes it a wholly intelligent,
believable and scary film.
Director-Producer Robert Mulligan
is best known for the classic, "To Kill A Mocking Bird" (1962). His
steady, no-nonsense direction makes this film work when it could have
very easily gotten grotesque and silly. The photography is also
beautiful and the acting is perfect. I do have a few minor complaints,
but I won't spoil it for you. You may have to search for this film, but
if you find it...SEE IT!
Thriller in Daylight - 11
saw this in the theater during its initial release in 1972, but haven't
seen it since. The one thing that has stayed with me all these years is
that every scene was shot either outdoors, or with bright lights. This
goes counter to every movie of this genre that I've ever watched. It
takes quite a movie craftsperson to make bright blue skies seem
One of the finest horror
movies ever made - 12 December 2005
creepy movies starring children are mentioned, "The Innocents" is
always wheeled out, and there is no injustice there. It is a great
movie and widely acknowledged as such. unacknowledged is "The Other", a
little seen movie, directed by Robert Mulligan ("To Kill A
Mockingbird"), and released over three decades ago.
To give it
its due, it is one of the finest horror movies every made, and also one
of the most visually arresting. Robert Surtees, who shot close to
seventy-five feature films in his amazing career, creates highly
stylized compositions and uses a mixed bag of crazy tilts, subtle moves
and striking low angles to construct the world of two twin boys who may
or may not be responsible for a series of violent mishaps.
Thomas Tryon novel, on which this is respectfully based, was also
notable for its subtle horrors and dense psychological web, and
director Mulligan (working with Tryon) maintains the novel's creepy,
deceptively breezy tone.
Jerry Goldsmith's score is one of his
very best, and contains many highly memorable cues that have resonated
with me for years. The rural setting shares similarities with aspects
of Roeg's "Wait Until Dark" and the lead performances by Chris and
Martin Udvarnoky (as Niles and Holland Perry) are extraordinary. And
Uta Hagen, as Ada, is mesmerizing.
As a study of suggestion and daylight dread, this powerful piece of
celluloid has no equal.
Polanski directs The
Waltons - 4 July 2000
movie will sneak up and give you the spooks! From the very first shot,
you start to feel creepy, and all you see is a kid playing in the
woods. The power of the film is in the brilliant cinematography. the
camera moves in a way to suggest, insinuate, something evil. Amazingly,
not one drop of blood is shown in the entire film. But it is very
disturbing. Some of the photography is also beautiful, the dandylion
seeds. But the real power is in the camera movement, that makes you
sense something lurking...camerawork is a very important part of the
telling of this twisted tale, because the camera depicts certain
complex psychological "realities". An astonishingly well-made film, if
you're a Roman Polanski fan, this one is as good as Roman's best stuff.
A pleasure to see such complex, subtle, well-made horror.
~~SHUDDER~~SHUDDER~~ - 29
saw this movie about 20 years or so ago it still haunts me to this day.
I will never EVER forget it! It creeped me out so bad, and certain very
disturbing images still come into my mind. I saw it back then, and will
not ever want to see it again. If you want to be scared, or be haunted
and are a fan of The Excorcist, Omen, etc I dare you to watch this
movie. YOU'll never forget it! I don't care how long ago you have seen
it, trust me it will stay with you!!
Wonderful, Scary, Creepy,
Suspenseful and One heck of a Masterful GEM - 29 July 1999
is one of those movies no one talks about - but if you've seen it once:
it will never leave you. I saw it on the big screen as a teenager. I
stayed in the theater and saw it again and then I returned the next
day. Look, I am not nuts, this is one of the finest scary movies ever
made. It is deceptively simple to look at. However, the cast and crew
put together one fine and magical horror story.
If you miss this
story, you've missed one of the quiet classics. It mixes fantasy with
good story telling and is bound to leave you fascinated.
Hagen gained my reverence after watching this movie. The Udvanorky
Brothers did such an outstanding job: they practically carried this
entire movie with a eclectic mix of childlike innocence and selfish
evil that I just do not understand why they never made another movie
again! This movie has made them a legend in my mind - they guide me
back to the first time I saw this and I wasn't that much older than
they were - that crossroads between wonderment and knowledge that stays
with one for a lifetime.
This period horror piece should be
lauded and respected and more - rediscovered or perhaps just discovered
by the world and stand as a hallmark of fine film making and
supernatural horror and mystery.
Still Creepy After All
These Years - 28 November 2001
a lot of people here, I grew up with this movie. I believe that CBS
started showing it in prime time as early as 1973. In any advent, they
showed it a lot through the 70's, and I think I saw it every time. A
lot of it made a huge impression on me as a kid: "Holland" performing
the magic trick for his elderly neighbor, the kid jumping in the barn
on the pitchfork (and the next cut is his casket being taken away), the
circus freak show..... Most of all, director Robert Mulligan and
company make the most benign setting (rural 1930s America) a scary
I just watched this again on AMC last night, and it holds
up pretty well. Most people should see the twist coming, and the feel
is distinctly early 70's California (in geography and look). However,
this is miles above all those Exorcist ripoffs and 80's slasher films.
The granddaddy of the
Subtle Horror film - 26 September 2001
the past several years a new film genre has arisen. I have dubbed it
the "Subtle Horror Film". Basically what happens is that the film takes
place in a somewhat ordinary setting, adding layer upon layer of menace
in the plot, until it all reaches a fever pitch. It then usually
culminates in a horrific plot twist that totally changes everything
that has gone before. Some recent examples of this types of film
are"The Sixth Sense" and "The Others"(similar title no less). I don't
know if any of today's crop of filmmakers have seen Robert Mulligan's
1972 film "The Other" but they certainly owe alot to this landmark
film. "The Other" is a film that I grew up with, so it may be hard to
give it a fair critical evaluation. I originally saw the film on the
CBS friday night movie sometime in 1977 while spending Friday night at
my grandparents' house and even though I was only six years old at the
time, I immediately knew that I somehow had struck cinematic gold. The
film starts innocently enough and the first half hour plays like an
episode of "Little House" or "The Waltons" and it basically follows the
exploits of a pair of twins who seem to always be around when tragedy
strikes on their Connecticut farm. But there's more than meets the eye
here and to reveal any more of the plot here would be a real
disservice. Suffice it to say that by the time film is over two things
will have happened. 1)You will be disturbed. PERSONAL NOTE: It wasn't
until viewing the film some fifteen years later that I fully understood
the implications of what took place in the chilling final half of the
film. (2) You will want to discuss this film with the first person you
bump into who has seen it. This is a great film and for better or worse
it (like a few other films) has truly helped to shape my likes and
dislikes in films.
I must also make mention of the technical
credits. Robert Surtees incredible camerawork is a bag of tricks unto
itself. Jerry Goldsmith delivers an outstanding score and Tom Tryon
wonderfully adapted his excellent 1971 bestseller into one of the best
examples of how to faithfully translate a book to film. Last but not
least, the great Robert Mulligan whose eerie staging of certain
sequences should have earned him an oscar nomination. Unjustly
forgotten when released in May 1972, do yourself a favor and see this
favorite scene in The Other:
Uh Holland, where's the baby?
at the IMDB
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