The Other (1972)

the other poster 1972 movie horror
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Atmospheric, looks good

Twist in story is obvious

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Other

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): May 26, 1972

MPAA Rating: PG

the other niles chris udvarnoky

Who is the bad seed?

Niles and Holland Perry (Chris Udvarnoky and Martin Udvarnoky) spend their days playing pranks and making up games on their quiet countryside farm. Niles and Holland have a secret however. They know “the great game” that was taught to them by their Russian grandmother Ada (Uta Hagen), and they can leave their bodies simply by projecting their minds. Niles worries about Holland though. Holland has a dark streak and people are starting to get hurt…the great game is about to get much more dangerous.

Directed by Robert Mulligan, The Other is a horror suspense thriller. The movie is based on the Tom Tryon 1971 novel and received mixed reviews from critics.

I can remember The Other airing late at nights a lot as a kid. The movie had this weird creepy (totally 1970s) feel to it despite being set in the past with lots of sunny sundrenched scenes. While the movie is built around an obvious twist, it is still fun to watch and put together with creatively. Due to the story aspects, a *******spoiler alert******* is in effect for the rest of the review.

the other holland kills neighbor martin udvarnoky

Holland has a secret…

I can’t remember if I when I first saw it as a kid if I realized the twist or not, so it is hard to honestly say it is completely obvious. There have been so many movies in recent years (especially after The Sixth Sense) that try to out-twist each other that the twist is almost common, and The Other’s twist is pretty obvious if you are paying attention. Even knowing that Holland is dead and Niles is responsible for everything going on, it is still a compelling movie. It gets a bit muddled with “the great game” and the astral projection (which in the long run serves no real purpose), but the story still keeps a creep factor along the lines of The Bad Seed.

The cast is strong. Twins Chris Udvarnoky and Martin Udvarnoky work in what comes down to a twin study of individual personas (it was their only film). Fame actress Uta Hagen brings some class to the picture and the movie also features one of the first big roles for John Ritter. Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven actor Victor French is the unfortunate Mr. Angelini who pays the price for Niles’ “games”.

the other uta hagen chris udvarnoky

Why are we playing this game and what does it really have to do with the plot?

The movie looks great. As mentioned, there is a real ’70s vibe to it. Despite being set in Connecticut, the movie was shot in California (Murphys) and has more of a western feel to the scenery. Mulligan deftly shot the scenes with the twins and never appear together on screen. The movie was subject to tons of edits and cuts which many said diluted the plot and story.

The Other still is a fun film for me and I can’t “not” watch it if it is on. It brings back memories of staying up late, rabbit ears, and bad reception (and our local horror TV host Sammy Terry). Despite the warm moments, it also isn’t a bad picture and deserves to not be forgotten. With an acclaimed director, a fun story, and a strong cast, The Other should be sought out…just don’t tell the ending!!!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

One Comment on "The Other (1972)"

  1. Adam Zanzie March 23, 2021 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    You might enjoy my hour-and-a-half-long YouTube video essay about the making of the film. I spoke to all the principle surviving cast/crew. Telling the story of its production took a lot of hard research, but it’s finally paying off. I knew that there were fans out there.

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