The Otherworld is more than just an arthouse-film, rather a documentary sincerely for only those seeking worldly cinema and vastly open-minded viewers with a serious interest in mysticism and occultism. This is a very strange journey into filmmaker Richard Stanley’s life, a man known for his work on Hardware (1990), The Theatre Bizarre (2011), and the convoluted story of work on the documentary Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau (2014). The documentary Otherworld looks into and explores (sort-of) a hidden world, attempting to make sense of the director’s life explaining where he lives with several talking heads and in French language, with subtitles. Stanley an artist, his reality might seem muddled but translates the conceptual design of what he sees and learns in mystic thought dimensions which he notes himself as an anthropologist learning secretive knowledge of forgotten civilizations, cultures and their histories. This location represents to some as a landmark, which leads some occultists to a doorway or portal into hell and a place to meet the Devil, though others have more uplifting thoughts of the area. Needless to say, the documentary generates vast perspectives about the film, from charm to divine awakening of one’s spiritualism yet others see it as pure blasphemy it’s simple purely an interpersonal judgement and journeymen movie.
Stanley’s film appears swarmed too much with various mystics all pushing different agendas, as well as the numerous conspiracy theorists and other bizarre individuals, leading to some mysteries never quite explored fully. The location known by many as ‘the Zone’, which finds itself hidden deep in the south of France, practically untouched even by today’s standards. The area to some contains strong links to supernatural occurrences, occult legends and perhaps spiritual doorways and of course, UFO sightings at Rennes-le-Château, a church rebuilt by 19th-century Roman Catholic priest Father Bérenger Saunière strange tales of his wealth and secrets. Some suggest that the wealth is not of riches and treasures of financial means, but rather could surmise that wealth of knowledge, which equals its own worth and value of spiritual connection. Those familiar with The Da Vinci Code may recognize the name of Rennes-le-Château, from the Dan Brown’s novel leading possibly(if believed) information to both Jesus and Mary Magdalene with a hint point to Michael Baignet’s work as well.
Quickly enough the documentary appears to lose some focus, and begins venturing in many different directions some with little crossover and appears to create unique and perhaps odd references to the locations and concepts. Stanley’s friend Scarlett Amaris joins the conversation but seems masking her genuine intentions, while repeating phrases about the strange happenings. Sadly, a downside for the documentary aside the various paths of discussion the scenes filled slow meandering drone talking, and less explaining of images or even a general foundation of examples before launching to strange higher level of spiritualism. For example, informing someone of Catholicism with mere words, and no images and they have no understanding of any religion, it all ignored.
This is not a typical documentary, and having reviewed some in the past I find it usually a nice relief of the constant horror charge of movies, but one might feel they jumped into an Alice in Wonderland moment, as one can quickly lose the thread of the work. In fact, if open to the mysticism, occultism, and general spiritualism, then this film leaves you scratching your head as to why you’ve watched the movie. Severin Films does deliver a solid Blu-ray with many extras, but if you easily dismiss UFOs and supernatural take as mumbo-jumbo then definitely avoid this flick. However, if you are considered an explorer of the mind and places, such as comic power spots of Mount Shasta in California or the Superstition Mountains in Arizona then come forth and enter this new realm of awareness.
IMDb Rating: 6/10
Baron’s Rating: 5/10