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The Others (2001)
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Review Date: August 06, 2001
Director: Alejandro Amenabar
Writer: Alejandro Amenabar
Producers: Jose Luis Cuerda, Fernando Bovaira, Sumnin Park
Actors:
Nicole Kidman as Grace
Fionnula Flanagan as Mrs. Mills
Christopher Eccleston as Charles
Plot:
A woman whose husband never came back from the war must suddenly deal with her children's claims of seeing ghosts in their own mansion. She tries to talk them out of it, even hires three people to help around the house, but it isn't long before she too, begins to suspect the house of being haunted...
Critique:
A very cool, very creepy, very dark ghost story. The first thing that I have to say about this movie to anyone who hasn't seen it yet is...please don't read anything about this film before you see it! (don't worry, I don't spoil anything in my review) The less you know about the movie, the more you will likely appreciate it as a whole. I almost got the whole thing ruined for me by one David Letterman, who mentioned "something" about the movie to his guest Nicole Kidman on his late night talk show last week, but thankfully there was a lot more to this picture than his simple quip. In fact, I love movies like this! Many elements working together to create a unique film with indelible atmosphere, believable performances, genuinely frightening undertones and an engaging mystery, that had me guessing all the way. Of course, this film's ending is what will likely have people talking the most, but I was hooked pretty much the whole way through. One of the main reasons for that hook was the absolutely brilliant performance given here by Nicole Kidman. It's funny because I was never really a fan of hers before I saw MOULIN ROUGE earlier on this year, which gave me a new perspective on her talent, and with the addition of this film now, well, I have to say that I am truly impressed by her skills. She is basically in every scene of this movie and delivers the goods in every single one. In fact, the combination of her ambiguous character and the obviously well-detailed screenplay, made it such that I was never able to predict what her next move would be.

And once again, I find myself saying that this is the kind of movie that needs to be seen twice to be fully valued, but believe me when I say that even the first time around is damn well worth it! In fact, the visuals in this film alone should be reason enough for you to fork over the big bucks. The director seems to have channeled a little Tim Burton here, with dangling trees, fog as thick as the eye can see and a stylish manor, with eeriness at every turn. But as per most successful movies, it is the story behind this film that is its greatest asset. It moves at a slow and methodical pace but it does so with a purpose. There are no special effects here, no pop-up scares, no men with knives chasing girls with huge cans. This film is all about the build-up and therein lies its greatest strength. The shadows, the gaslit lamps all over the house, the sounds from the attic, the silence all around, the darkness of one room versus the light in another...the spookiness everywhere! All the while, these are the little things playing in the film's background, while the story of the ghosts rack your brain up front. The kids are also very good in this movie and don't play your "typical" smart-ass (or just plain smart) brats. And it is because of the solid performances from the entire family, as well as the development of each of the characters, that we believe their stories and care about everyone's plight throughout. The film's score is also used quite brilliantly, adding that certain "something" to the proceedings whenever needed. Boo scares, on the other hand, are not a part of this equation, but chills definitely are. Now I'm not sure if it was the A/C in the theater or the actual disturbing moments from this film, but I had goose bumps on more than one occasion.

I love movies like this because there's a sense of reality behind them, a believability factor with an actual capacity to tap into some of our most unknown fears. The truth about ghosts, the afterworld, haunted houses are notions that none of us could pretend to factually know much about, but movies as such always seem to crack open the greater possibilities in our minds. Kudos to everyone involved in this amazing production for bringing a good ol' classic ghost story back to the big screen, along with a nifty little twist.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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12:26PM on 01/23/2006
Just saw The Others on DVD and it was very impressive. I especially liked the lighting - which according to the plot - was necessary. Unfortunately, I knew that a twisted ending was coming, so I prepared myself for it. I was spoiled. It did throw me for a loop though. Was also impressed by Nicole Kidman and the young actress that played her daughter.

A lot of things made sense after realizing what was going on - with the ending, obviously - but there was a thing or two that just didn't
Just saw The Others on DVD and it was very impressive. I especially liked the lighting - which according to the plot - was necessary. Unfortunately, I knew that a twisted ending was coming, so I prepared myself for it. I was spoiled. It did throw me for a loop though. Was also impressed by Nicole Kidman and the young actress that played her daughter.

A lot of things made sense after realizing what was going on - with the ending, obviously - but there was a thing or two that just didn't register. I won't say what it is because I might give something away to somebody who hasn't seen it - even though it's been released for like 2-3 years now.

This flick reminded me a lot of The Sixth Sense with its overall creepiness and suprise ending.
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