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The Other Side of the Box Explained – Life, Death, Water and What Lies on the Other Side

January 5, 2023

Short films have to work harder than series and feature films. They usually operate on limited budgets and barely have time to develop characters and stories you’ll remember. Some succeed with quick formatting. Movies like Curve and Childer make an impact because of their succinct story mapping. We don’t need to know any more than we do about either of these tales to be completely shaken by them. Some truths and fears are universal. The unnerving short film Other Side Of The Box by Caleb J. Phillips is one of those films that is weird for undefinable reasons.

The short, which takes place in a tight fifteen minutes, uses clever camera angles and an intriguing idea to create one of the weirdest and scariest shorts in a while. It’s a goofy movie that seems funny even if nothing particularly comedic about it. Other Side Of The Box leads to a conclusion as inevitable as it is tense.

This new version of Dr. Who’s Weeping Angels brings a mysterious box to Rachel and Ben’s house. The woman’s ex-boyfriend randomly appears after she leaves with her new boyfriend and, after being invited over, quickly asks Ben if they are alone. Wanting to spare his girlfriend any drama from the uncomfortable situation, he lies while she hides in the other room. Shawn then offers her a wrapped box and a handwritten note. Inside the box there is nothing. Just black white. A void that things fall into but don’t come out of until a dripping middle-aged man with bulging eyes and a mute mouth kicks them out.

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The note instructs our protagonist, Ben (Nick Tag), to always keep his eyes on the box. He explains that Shawn (Josh Schell) is sorry but needs to get rid of the box. That was Ben’s problem now, unless he got rid of it too, by getting an unsuspecting victim to open up. The note further explains that the “thing” inside cannot move while the box is being watched. When a strange man barely emerges from the box, Ben leaves Rachel (Teegan Rose) to watch over her while he tracks down Shawn to demand answers. Unfortunately, too late, he realizes that the monster in the box only has eyes for the recipient and will trap everyone else, only to emerge on the other side of the box to help trap the next victim.

What’s in the box?

At first, the box appears empty. Supernaturally empty even. As telling as the inky blackness is, the staring wet man is worse. The thing in the box is shrewd and patient and uses what it sees and hears to manipulate its victims. The entity in the box can impersonate anyone it hears and is a skilled liar. By repeating key lines, standing still even when Ben is looking away and Rachel is watching, and possibly creating false narratives, it tricks Ben into thinking anyone can look at the box and keep the man at bay. .

Shawn, however, tells Ben he’s a liar and warns him not to go home as he knows it’s already too late for Rachel. He only escaped the cursed box because he gave it to Ben. Shawn had to give the box away, and while he didn’t necessarily want Ben dead, it was someone he didn’t like because he was now dating Rachel.

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The end of Other Side Of The Box

When Ben returns home, he finds the wet man fully out of the box and closing in as his minions, silhouetted in the shadows, swoop down on him from the stairs. Most of the lights have been turned off in the house and water is everywhere. He can’t look at both of them simultaneously, and as a result, each side closes in as he switches between them. Eventually, with a trio of shadows seconds away and the dripping man reaching for a switch, Ben has no choice but to stare at the trio and be plunged into darkness.

It’s not shown what happens next, but presumably he joins the ranks of those beaten by the box and will now have to serve the dripping man for eternity. Our side of the box represents light and hope, while the other side of the box represents death and despair. Oddly enough, water symbolizes life and purity but is used here as a source of fear and perhaps power for evil.

What’s with the water in Other Side Of The Box?

The weird man that comes out of the box is wet, and later, when Ben comes home, he hears the shower running and sees water all over the floors. The entity obviously needs water to move quickly or is like a whale and needs to stay wet to maintain its powers. Usually water symbolizes peace, life and hope, but in this short it is used to shock and scare. We never get an explanation of why the man needs or wants to get wet, which makes it even scarier.

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Blending our fear of the dark and, thanks to Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho, the fear of showers, Other Side Of The Box produces just the right mix of ambiguous weirdness and phobia. What we don’t see or understand is far scarier than what we do. Other Side Of The Box will definitely make you look twice at all these boxes Amazon that have just been delivered. You can watch the full movie below.

Tracy Palm Tree

As the editor of Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the editor.

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