The Other is one of those movies that is subtle in its jolts of terror, and it succeeds in being a very beautiful movie of the horrors of deteriorating psychological breakdown as seen in the film’s major character, Niles Perry, and his relationship with his twin brother, Holland, as played by Chris and Martin Udvarnoky.
The movie also stars Diana Muldaur (the boy’s mother), and a very young John Ritter (Rider), as the husband of the twins older sister, Torrie.
Based on the 1971 debut novel by Tom Tryon (yes—that Tom Tryon—the famous actor of movies like “The Cardinal”, “In Harm’s Way”, and “The Story of Ruth”), the movie pretty much remains faithful to the book, except for the film’s ending, with Tryon the author of the film’s screenplay.


the other tryon
Set in a Depression era Connecticut town, the movie covers a series of inexplicable events that occur during a bucolic summer in 1935.

Not a horror movie, as some have categorized it, I consider The Other more of a suspense movie. There is no nudity, gore, excessive violence, but it does have some profanity. The movie gets its point across in allowing viewers to feel the tension of just who is causing the many tragedies that befall the community:  Niles, the brother who was born last (the next day, twenty minutes later) or Holland, the other brother who was born first?
The Other has supernatural overtones, involving a “magic” ring and especially in Niles playing the “great Game” that his doting grandmother Ada (played by the great Uta Hagen) has taught him, but, as the film progresses, she begins to see that having taught Niles the game, she has unleashed a terror she can no longer control.
The movie is chilling, earie and tragic, and has a twist of an ending (well, really two twists:  one scene that occurs when Ada and Niles visit a cemetary grave and we learn who is buried there, and the scene where the camera focuses on a cut/broken lock), scenes that stay with the viewer years after they have seen the movie.
Released at the time of more popular movies that year (The Godfather, Lady Sings the Blues, Last Tango in Paris), The Other got lost in the shuffle. The Other is creepy, and unnerving, as the setting of a pastoral and peaceful town is anything but peaceful with all the bizarre incidents that happen that summer.
It deserves to be seen and enjoyed for the outstanding direction (Robert Mulligan, of “To Kill a Mockingbird” fame), lilting musical score (Jerry Goldsmith), and especially the acting of the Udvarnoky twins.  (This movie was their only one.)
The Other scares in quiet psychological terror.

Always a mark of a well-made film that needs no heavy-handed approach to become the classic that The Other has attained through the years.

photo of the movie the other

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