A woman named Grace retires with her two children to a mansion on Jersey, towards the end of the Second World War, where she's waiting for her husband to come back from battle. The children have a disease which means they cannot be touched by direct sunlight without being hurt in some way. They will live alone there with oppressive, strange and almost religious rules, until she needs to hire a group of servants for them. Their arrival will accidentally begin to break the rules with unexpected consequences. Written by
Being a Spanish co-production, this film went on after its release on September 7, 2001, to become Spain's biggest grossing domestic film of all time after less than two months of release. However, in 2014, the box office record was broke by Ocho apellidos vascos (2014). See more »
In the end titles, a misspelled line gives credit for "metereology". See more »
Now children, are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin... This story started many thousands of years ago, and it was all over in just 7 days. All that long long time ago, none of the things we can see now, the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, the animals and plants, not a single one existed. Only God existed. And so only he could have created them. And he did.
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Before the opening credits or music begin, we hear Grace's voice over a black screen; she says (in the manner of a mother about to tell a bedtime story), "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin." See more »
This is one of the best movies I have seen all year, and one of the top horror stories ever told. It's creepy, simplistic, and eerie.
I was impressed by the enchanting simplicity of the plot, the lack of need for "Hollywood" special effects, and the haunting atmosphere that loomed over everything from beginning to end.
The first half, or even three quarters, seemed to move along a bit slowly, but it felt necessary to build the suspense to the point where I was biting my nails in anticipation of the inevitable.
Nicole Kidman's character, Grace... I was torn between empathy and disgust for her at times, but she definitely succeeded at captivating me with their lives and story. Predictable in parts, but it still leaves you guessing. This was a quality ghost story, with an old fashioned ambiance; downright spooky.
I was in awe of the ending, a fairly intelligent premise. It's the kind of movie that lets you escape reality for a while by entertaining you, but at the same time, returns you to the "real world" with your spine tingling, wondering if there isn't some possibility of truth... Chilling.
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