The Others (2001)
July 19, 2012
"How do you keep them out, when they've already invited themselves in?"
On the secluded Isle of Jersey in the final days of World War II, a young woman waits for her beloved husband to return from the front. Grace (Nicole Kidman) has been raising her two young children alone in a beautiful, cavernous, Victorian mansion, the one place she believes them to be safe. But they are not safe. Not anymore. When three new servants arrive to replace the ones that inexplicably disappeared, startling, supernatural events begin to unfold. Grace's daughter reveals she has been communicating with unexplained apparitions. At first, Grace is reluctant to believe in her children's frightening sightings, but soon, she too begins to sense that intruders are at large.
Alejandro Amenábar treats The Others like a traditional horror movie with these ingredients : gargantuan old mansion (where there's no phone, no radio, no electricity, all curtain closed up) shrouded in fog, mysterious noises, sudden door-slam and self-playing piano. TO is one good horror movie; fast-paced suspense topped with nonstop frights.
Mrs. Mills : "Sometimes the world of the living gets mixed up with the world of the dead."
In the after-WWII situation, the story centered on a mother named Grace whose husband left for war, leaving her with her 2 children with photo-sensitive disease that allows her to open no curtains. She is a God believer, a faithful Catholic and she teaches her children to do the same. One day, 3 people come to her house to become her servants. Her daughter, Anne constantly worries her with her non-sense saying as she tells her she saw ghosts which Grace believe are intruders, making all those noises and interruptions. Grace then constantly being haunted and make her losing her sanity as she keeps hallucinating and hearing noises. Then the story goes, as she uncovers more and more about the house, she and her children and her three servants.
Anne : "They're everywhere - they say this house is theirs."
At the beginning, the plot goes too slow but it regains quickly, as Grace discovers more and answered all the unanswered questions in the middle of the movie, as they all connect and chain into one big and surprising twist at the end. The script is perfect : quiet, desperate and methodical, along with all those tenseful screaming and warning. The effects are just flawless; pitch dark mansion, with all the candles, then fog outside. Perfect fright.
Mrs. Mills : "The intruders are leaving, but others will come. Sometimes we'll sense them. Other times, we won't."
The star of the movie is without a doubt is Nicole Kidman who portrays Grace; an odd and desperate over-protective mother, also a loving and caring mother to her children. I love how she quickly changes her expressions, first as strong and tormidable woman then second as scared and fragile child. Her fear for her children and her strong-will give me chill. As she says, "No door must be opened unless the one before is closed." The tense rises when she finds out more about the noises and the fact that she's denying her belief as in I-don't-believe-in-ghost. Her freakish demeanor, her cries in desperation, her tough-outer when she teacher her children how to behave, the tensed jaw when she finds out that everything is beyond her expectation. Nicole Kidman portrays Grace flawlessly; she's a golden and she is surely the heroine of the movie. Well done Kidman.
Mrs. Mills : "Sooner or later, they will find you."
Bottom line, there's nothing bad or boring about this movie. If you seek for some classic ghost-popping horror, then The Others fit your wish well. I definitely recommend you to watch this movie.
Grace : "No-one can make us leave this house."