"The Others" (2001)

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar
Written By: Alejandro Amenábar
Released: Nov 2nd, 2001
Runtime: 105 minutes
Studio: Miramax Films

 Grace (Nicole Kidman), the devoutly religious mother of Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), moves her family to the English coast during World War II. She awaits word on her missing husband while protecting her children from a rare photosensitivity disease that causes the sun to harm them. Anne claims she sees ghosts, Grace initially thinks the new servants are playing tricks but chilling events and visions make her believe something supernatural has occurred.

I just watched this again last night for the umpteenth time. I always forget how good it actually is. Without doubt definitely one of the best horror movies I have watched. It gets you right from the start, never gets boring, never wastes too much time on anything and keeps you guessing and wondering all the time. Most importantly, the frights are brilliant. 

The very first moment in the film involves Nicole Kidman waking up very abruptly and screaming. I remember the first time I watched it was with earphones, on my laptop and I had them quite loud so I got such a fright. I was not expecting such an abrupt opening! This was brilliant because it sucked me immediately into the story. The film centres around Grace Stewart (played by Nicole Kidman), the mother of two children, Anne and Nicholas, who are both photosensitive – which offers a plausible excuse for having the big house in mere candlelight all the time. Another credible way of maintaining the tension is the persistent fog around the house, making it very remote and isolated. Since the children’s father went to war and has not since returned, Grace has been left to raise them on her own. One day three wandering servants arrive outside their door in the hopes of being hired to give their assistance around the house; gardening, cleaning and watching the children. Strange things soon begin to take place, including some disturbing noises around the house... 

What’s good about this particular horror film is that the plot is decently structured with a fantastic twist. Anne has been telling her mother and brother about a boy named Victor, who she talks to and who talks back to her. Grace, however, is having none of it and is convinced her daughter is only making up silly stories...until she experiences some strange occurrences for herself.

I don’t think I can tell you too much more about this film without giving away some of the key frights, which I feel might ruin the film for those who haven’t seen it. Well, maybe ‘ruin’ is a strong word; I should say, take from the brilliance the first viewing should offer. Subtle details mentioned early on in the film all come together as the story unfolds, eventually becoming a huge part in the puzzle later. What I like about this film is even when you know the fright is coming (given the right volume!) you can still get the fright anyway! I think this is down to the decently structured plotline that stands well on its own. Like any other genre, it will keep pulling you in regardless.

There are some great moments in this film and I would absolutely recommend it to any horror enthusiasts out there. You’ll just have to watch it to see for yourselves.