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Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No one can make us leave this house., 30 May 2011
This review is from: The Others (2 Disc Collectors Edition) [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
The Others is directed and written by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston, Elaine Cassidy, Eric Sykes, Alakina Mann & James Bentley. Amenábar also scores the music and the cinematography is by Javier Aguirresarobe. Plot sees Kidman as Grace Stewart , the mother of two children who have an allergy to sunlight. With her husband still missing in action during WWII, Grace and the children reside in a remote mansion on the isle of Jersey. When one day a trio of house servants turn up looking to fill the vacancies at the mansion, it coincides with strange supernatural occurrences around the home. Are the children being mischievous? Is Grace losing her mind? Or is there indeed something not of this world at work?

The haunted house creeper has had a number of film version tellings over the years. A different kind of horror film, it's a sub-genre that relies on suggestion and atmospheric shocks instead of rampant blood letting. The Others is one of the finest of its type, a wonderfully crafted chiller that thrives on old fashioned values to deliver its scares. The set up is standard formula stuff, a big gloomy mansion that's nice and remote with rolling gardens and finds itself often cloaked by impenetrable fog. A couple of cherubic kids, classically inviting creepy activity, and servants that have foreboding written all over their respective foreheads. Throw into the pot the lonely female trying to hold her self together as things threaten to unhinge the family bond, and it's so far so formulaic. But Amenábar, for his English language debut, has a great sense of mood and pacing, slowly unwinding the coil to reveal a sense of impending doom, playing it out amongst eerie sounds and deft camera movements about the house. That the kiddies have a light sensitive problem gives Amenábar the perfect excuse to keep the whole thing dimly lit: to great eerie effect.

With unease in place and the small band of characters firmly established, the other key element of the film starts to kick in, namely the mystery element. Just what exactly is going on here? The children, excellently played by debutants Mann & Bentley, garner much sympathy, but at the same time we suspect they might be at fault for the ghostly activity. The servants are led by the officious looking, but gently spoken, Bertha Mills (Flanagan superb), you sense something isn't quite right but all cards are played close to the chest so as to not reveal anything. So much so that when the reveal does come, it's a doozy, firmly rounding out The Others as a classic of its type. The trump card here, tho, is Kidman. Pale faced and cold to the eye, she nails the plummy English accent whilst turning in a classic performance of a repressed woman battling against-it seems-everything and everyone. Following in the footsteps of Deborah Kerr and Julie Harris, Kidman's ability to make Grace's mental disintegration believable marks it out as one of the best horror sub-genre performances ever.

Suspense, scares and some tricks up its sleeve, The Others is every inch a quality bit of psychological horror. 9/10
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Sep 2015 06:46:54 BDT
This is a great review!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2015 19:05:16 BDT
Spike Owen says:
Thank you for the kind words.

Cheers Frank
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