The films that inspired Berto Romero to create 'The Other Side', his horror comedy

Nacho Nieto (Berto Romero), after a suicide attempt, was able to regain contact with Dr.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
06 December 2023 Wednesday 16:31
15 Reads
The films that inspired Berto Romero to create 'The Other Side', his horror comedy

Nacho Nieto (Berto Romero), after a suicide attempt, was able to regain contact with Dr. Estrada (Andreu Buenafuente), his mentor on television and who helped him form journalistic integrity, even in an aspect as reviled as the paranormal. . This gave him the strength to face his most difficult case: a widow (Maria Botto) tortured by a ghost in her working-class apartment. Now that this Thursday it is time to close the case after the broadcast of the last two episodes of The Other Side, it is time to analyze the films that led Berto Romero to create the series.

He was worried before the premiere of The Other Side at the Serielizados Fest. He feared that the public would not understand the proposal he had written with Rafel Barceló and Enric Pardo: he could count on Buenafuente, his usual partner on both radio and television, in a comedic way, but he intended to offer a work that had both comedy and horror. . And what films influenced you to narrate paranormal curiosity on Movistar Plus?

John Russell (George C. Scott), after witnessing the death of his wife and daughter, settles into a mansion that has been vacant for some time. He soon realizes that inexplicable events occur there, related to the death of Joseph Carmichael, a boy who had lived there. “It's my favorite ghost movie,” admits Berto Romero, who still remembers “that little ball…”.

Peter Medak's film, in fact, directly influenced The Other Side in that “the seance scene was in my head when writing our Lambda group scene in the third chapter.”

And, when it comes to hybrid productions, a name that could not be missed was An American Werewolf in London by John Landis and which is also part of the horror imagination of the eighties. “He is a wonderful example of combining horror and comedy,” he argues. The appearances of Jack (Griffin Dunne) as an undead condemned to live in limbo after having been attacked by a werewolf also served as inspiration for him to write the Buenafuente scenes “because of their everyday life and customs.”

Here, a less predictable reference: Borja Cobeaga's comedy about the negotiations that a Basque politician must carry out with members of ETA in French territory and with an American as mediator. “Cobeaga is an absolute master in the art of portraying losing characters and riding the so-called pocho humor,” says Berto Romero, who considers that The Other Side has “a certain twinning in the tone of comedy” with Negociador.

Óscar Aibar appeared in 2003 with a story inspired by real events: the appearance of two decapitated bodies 30 kilometers from his house. Thus he imagined with Jorge Guerricaechevarria the story of two workers from Terrassa obsessed with the imminent arrival of extraterrestrials during the Franco regime. “I saw her again while we were writing The Other Side. It was a reference in how to approach the portrait of the world of mystery in Spain, respecting its eccentricity without underlining it,” explains Romero, who defines Flying Saucers as “vincible and poetic” and a “spiritual older sister of our series.”

John Travolta, in the role of a sound effects technician, discovered audio evidence of a murder. Brian De Palma's film did not recover its budget through ticket sales at the box office but did earn critical acclaim for his visual style as a director. “The use of bifocal lenses in certain moments of The Other Side comes from having enjoyed it in De Palma's cinema.”

“On some occasions we joked during filming that we wanted our series to look aesthetically similar to a lost De Palma film from the 1980s filmed in Eastern Europe,” reveals Romero.

These films mentioned directly marked the style, tone or content of The Other Side, but there are other titles that defined Berto Romero's audiovisual vision when approaching his latest project (and especially taking into account that he had just recorded a comedy that is as authorial as it is family-oriented, that Look What You've Done, which won the Ondas award for best comedy series).

For example, his favorite ghost movie next to The End of the Stairs is, of course, The Shining by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel by Stephen King, although he finds himself “unable to say anything about this movie that hasn't already been said.” already". The sequel Doctor Sleep, which Mike Flanagan directed after 29 years, also fascinated him “for its courage in opening up the universe and making room for many new ideas and different tones without betraying the base material, both cinematic and literary.” .

Even, despite the differences, you can consider Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as a reference: “This film marks a maximum of rawness and realism in terror that contrasts with its unusual and unfindable second part, in which the same director “It approaches the same material from a black and unpleasant comedy.” He considers the diptych to be “an extreme example of the combination of both genres.”

And, taking even further distances, two other foundational titles from his vision as a creator: The Best Father in the World by Bobcat Goldthwait and El dorado by Howard Waks. “Robin Williams shines in a very restrained role and I am interested in that very particular tone of comedy, which gets into all kinds of messes and addresses uncomfortable topics,” he says of the former, which served as inspiration for him to “dare to play with the singular tones”, whether from writing or interpretation.

Regarding the western, his favorite, he wanted to take advantage of the way he manages the characters: “It is an example of a choral story in which all the characters continually need each other to achieve their objectives. I like to write scenes with a lot of people, and maybe something comes from here. Ipecacuanha!".