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|Index||1091 reviews in total|
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.
The Others is a very remarkable film from more than just one viewpoint. In an era where you can only impress young horror fanatics with bucket-loads of blood and gross-out effects, Amenábar actually re-teaches his audience that fear is especially caused by suggestion and the absence of explicit images. The Others is the first intelligent horror film in years, completely relying on atmosphere and eerie set pieces. It's such a relief to finally see a subtle film that is also effective! I'm normally not much of Nicole Kidman fan but she's very convincing as the prudish, over-concerned mother who desperately tries to protect her children from the outside world (daylight in particular). She lives in a remote mansion and waits, along with her 2 children, for WWII to be over. With the arrival of 3 servants, strange events star to occur in the old house and the daughter spots 'intruders' everywhere. The screenplay - by Amenábar himself - is not totally unique (filmfreaks who're familiar with expressionism highlights from the 60's will quickly guess the hidden plot twist) but it's filled with ingenious findings and sublime dialogues. The Others reminds you of 'The Innocents' and there are far worse films to get compared with, if you ask me! What also is rather amazing about this production is that Amenábar seems so confident! This is his first giant Hollywood adventure with stars in the cast and American money and yet he has total control over everything. The acting is great, the plot actually scares you and the directing is solid. The Others is a total winner and easily one of the greatest genre-films of the last few decades.
Alejandro Amenábar is a very young and talented director, born in Chile and
raised in Spain. He revolutionized Spanish cinema when he arrived on the
scene with Thesis, at only 24 years of age. The came Abre los ojos, a very
powerful second film that immediately put him aside some of the leading
directors there, like Pedro Almodóvar, Carlos Saura, or Fernando Trueba. The
others is only his third film and you can now see a hint of who may become
one of the best around in a couple of years (he's only 29).
The best comparison I can make of this film is to a piece of clockwork. Precise, exact, nothing is gratuitous or excessive.... What a subtle charm this film works on you as a spectator. The screenplay is one of the best of this genre I have seen in the last few years, very carefully revised and misleading, yet at the end everything makes perfect sense, not the mention on the second time you watch it.
It is true that many of the film's features and details may be traced to classic films of the genre, but there is nothing wrong with that. The director himself said it was an homage to directors like Alfred Hitchcock (to whom he has been compared somewhat prematurely.... he may reach such height but he still has a long road to walk). That is one of the great things about the film; it takes the best of the genre, the best that has been made by the best directors... it's a film lover's delight.
I had never thought Nicole Kidman could have been at the height of the project, as I really have never considered her a great actress. All I can say is I am still dumbfounded by her extraordinary performance... really, a large percentage of the film's success can be related to her. Sober and discreet when needed, yet grand all the same... It does remind some of the most elegant names of classic Hollywood cinema like the Bette Davis of All about Eve or the Katharine Hepburn of The African queen. But it would be really selfish to give her all the credit when she was supported by an extraordinary cast. Fionnula Flanagan (the sweet old lady from Waking Ned Devine) is trully magnificent as the governess, Mrs. Mills, and very surprising performances of a mute and an old gardener are given by Elaine Cassidy and Eric Sykes. The children (Alakina Mann and James Bentley) are also fantastic.
Finally, I cannot but mention the crew of the film. It is even a more fantastic job when you consider that the film (many people don't realize this) is chiefly a Spanish production. The production design by Benjamín Fernández and specially the cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe are extraordinary. Just as in the best painting of figures like Goya or Rembrandt, light and shadow reveal the objects and the people.
I do not hesitate to say that this is really one of the best films of the year 2001. I am still waiting to watch Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, La stanza del figlio, The shipping news, The hours and Italiensk for begyndere, but I know it will remain amongst those at the top. A 10/10 is really fair for a film that has it all, a perfect machinery that arrives at a time when we seriously need intelligent films and not blockbuster deceptions. I can only say I hope its director won't jump to Hollywood in search of big-time projects that waste his potential.
It is a film to feast on.. to savour, to enjoy, to remember....
The Others is yet another in a long list of great horror movies of the new
millennium. I have always loved ghost stories, and this film has easily
become my favorite ghost story ever. It's like one of the great old black
and white ghost stories but better. It takes you on a slow, and
The story is simple. Grace lives in a mansion with her two children, both allergic to sunlight. That little twist on the story was just great. It makes the film completely opposite than other ghost stories, with Grace not afraid of the dark, and making sure to keep the light out, to save her children. This provides us with a very creepy, and dark atmosphere. Plus the mansion is also a creepy place. Not to mention, that in the film everyone who enters the house, must close the previous door, before opening the next.
Nicole Kidman is perfectly cast in The Others. This may be one of her best performances ever (She was also great in this years Moulin Rouge). She was really very believable in the part. The two kids in this film were also fantastic. Alakina Mann as Anne was terrific. She played the bullying sister great. She and James Bently, who played Nicolas, really seemed like siblings. Awesome job by both. Fionnula Flanagan was also fantastic as Mrs. Mills. She really creeped me out, and I didn't know where she stood. Was she good or bad? I didn't know, but her acting was right on the ball.
Alejandro Anemabar directed The Others with such atmosphere. The dark lighting is creepy, and the cinematography is beautiful. This guy's has got a bright future. To accompany all the atmosphere we get a fabulous score by the director, Alejandro Amenabar. The music is creepy, and really adds to the feel of a 50's ghost story. It also sets the mood of the film, and makes the scary scenes, even scarier. The score is fabulous. Not only did Alejandro Amenabar direct, and score, but he wrote the great, and well-developed screenplay.
The Others is not without a great twist ending, that should shock everyone. I did not see it coming, and it's such an original concept to use in a ghost story. It worked well, and I was speechless after the film. Outstanding finale.
This film is yet another horror film that proves that big budget special effects suck! This film is scary, and it only had a $17m budget. The Others did great at the box office, and deserved every buck it earned. It's a creepy film, that has its very scary moments. This is a film that will not be forgotten. It'll be stuck in my mind for a long time. This really reminded me of an old 40's or 50's film. I highly recommend this film to every fan of ghost stories.
The Others: 10/10, A+
If I had to sum up this movie in a word, it would be "chilling." The
is a delightfully atmospheric suspense film. It's tense, scary, and very
memorable -- I don't think I'll ever forget the image of a terrified
Kidman clutching her rosary beads around her shotgun as she tears down the
halls of her dreadful Victorian mansion.
Writer/director/composer Alejandro Amenabar creates a dark, dark atmosphere, in which you feel like you can't trust anyone. Nicole Kidman, in her brilliant performance as Grace, is supposedly the "heroine" of the film, but as I watched the movie I found myself more frightened of her than rooting for her; steely and overbearing, with a hint of psychotic hysteria in her icy eyes. And then the children, (held their own and even stole a few scenes from the more experienced players) were just hellishly creepy. The little girl was one of the most ominous characters I have ever seen in a film. And the servants (who were also finely played) will keep you guessing the whole way through. Every time you think you have it figured out, some of the household help will pop up and throw the whole framework off-kilter.
The real attraction in this film is Nicole Kidman, following up her bravura performance as Satine in "Moulin Rouge" with a woman teetering between insanity and iron control. Grace has so many layers, and Kidman reveals almost all of them through her face. The film is anchored by her presence, and she plays off the other actors extremely well -- note the tense relationship she has with Anne, her daughter. When the two lock eyes, it's like watching two trains crash head-first into one another.
The only disappointment in this movie is the ending, which is slightly anti-climactic. When you get to it, you'll be satisfied, and it ties up everything that's happened in the movie up to that point quite well. But it seemed almost anti-climactic, and I was left feeling a little bit let down.
Overall, I gave The Others a 9/10.
It's funny that I see this movie the way I do, perhaps I'm more
perceptive to little dramatic, human touches, but I saw this movie
and was satisfied with it. In fact, I fell in love with it. This movie is
chilling, very spooky, with a few moments that will make you jump,
but it's a movie that works itself up, and by the end of the movie you
feel scared, and like someone has zapped you a few times, chilly
from inside out, but fulfilled.
People have been comparing this to "Sixth Sense". Though the movie may share similarities, this stands on it's own. It's content is not trying to send a message, except for a universal theme that you want to grasp onto. There is historical and religious content, purely in context for the twists and turns and nuances to make this film so complete in every aspect. Everything works so well. This movie takes pride in each scene, and each is set up so that you get the most of it. Everything relates to everything, you are given clues the entire movie, but it's set up so masterfully the ending is the suprise you've been waiting for.
The performance by Kidman and the two children are one of a kind. It's a realistic interaction between siblings and a controlling, dysfunctional, but loving mother. The acting and writing (the script) is so well done, it adds for scattered scenes that will, hopefully, stick around with you for a long time. There's this one beautiful scene in the movie, it's where Grace (Nicole Kidman) is hugging her son, and her daughter (who is slightly estranged from her mom) runs up and hugs her, and there this look of absolute release on the face of Grace. Another great scene is when Grace carries her rifle around the house (shoot the ghost!), and she's desperately trying to protect her house and children. There are more like that, so keep your eyes open.
The cinematography is innovative and brilliant, camera angles and the lighting set everything up so well. The lighting is very important as well, in fact, the subject of "light" is so well mixed into the story, the dark feels safer and more secure than the light does. There are times when you long for the darkness, just as the characters long for the darkness (due to a part of the plot including a health condition of the children, which serves a basis for the mental thrill fest to come). To finish off this concoction, try to listen to the score, because it's very fitting.
This is more of a drama than a thriller, though it deserves to be a thriller (it's scary), but the power of it's dramatic side comes bursting through. This is a beautiful movie, it has overtones of a more serious side, and it's a movie that hardly belongs in the horror section because of it's beauty, but it's too darned eerie, weird, and chilling to fit anywhere else.
The others ***/****
"The Others" is a suspenseful horror film unlike many these days. Most are concerned with blood and gore, teenage girls getting naked, body count, and not scary. "The Others" is atmospheric, spooky, bloodless, and carried by strong acting and fleshed out characters. Yet, it takes too long to make an impact and the final payoff is not as shocking as it should be.
The plot is simple and not especially innovative (your average ghost story), but it seems fresh thanks to strong acting and a well-crafted, eerie atmosphere that rivals that of a Tim Burton film. Nicole Kidman is Grace, a beautiful young married mother who must raise her two children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley) alone in their gigantic (actually, ridiculously large) mansion on a British isle, around the end of WWII. They are alone, for the husband and father has been at war and has not returned, and their housekeepers mysteriously vanished. Suddenly, a trio of friendly caretakers arrive one day. Mrs. Mills (Fionnula Flanagan) is the amiable old lady, Lydia (Elaine Cassidy) is a mute young girl, and Mr. Tuttle (Eric Sykes) is the not-so-social gardener. However, there is a strange, arcane facet to the trio; they have little background and had no way of knowing that Grace was offering positions at her manor. Aside from this, Grace must deal with her children, who have a deadly allergy to light, which means that the house must be dark all the time, allowing for a spooky dark, shadowy ambience. Anna and Nicholas, most importantly, have been visited - by a family of ghosts. Noises - crying, piano music, and running - have been heard. And curtains that stop light from entering the house are opening and closing by themselves. The film is based around Grace's efforts to solve the enigma.
I love the atmosphere of "The Others," set in a nostalgic and ominous 1940's estate. Snowy mist blankets the grass and crisp fall leaves. Murky waters of a lake border the chateau. Elegant furniture, polished marble and wood floors, neatly-woven blankets, tautly fabricated furnishings of wood and olive green cloth, coal black German sedans, lightly wrinkled sweaters and jackets are all seemingly authentic from the era. One spectacular and tense scene has Grace haplessly stumbling through an impenetrably thick ocean of milky fog that weaves through overhanging trees and a ground of crunchy bronze and russet leaves.
The action takes a while to get started up, which is a major negative. This is due to the director, Amenabar, spending time to develop an involving plot, 3-D characters, and the aforementioned décor. While Amenabar succeeds in those respects, we find ourselves wishing something would happen. Many people will easily become bored, feel tempted to sleep or leave, etc., but I, while not exactly enthralled by that point in the film, was still enjoying it.
When we finally are treated to doses of suspense and chills (not so much horror and terror), it is satisfying. You most likely will find yourself on the edge of your seat or huddled in a ball anxiously awaiting the potentially fatal results of Grace's investigation. This is not so much because you care about her character, but really because you expect a sudden scream and heart-stopping outburst of maniacal ghosts. Most scenes are chilling, including the door shutting in the piano room, the old lady in the white dress, and the final chaotic conclusion. However, I can not say that I was truly horrified and paranoid from this film, unlike "The Sixth Sense," where I was freaked out for months. I was still very entertained.
I must commend all the actors in the film, especially Nicole Kidman. The acting was down to earth and realistic, despite Nicole Kidman forced into saying some foolish lines ("Something.. Diabolical!). The two child actors, Mann and Bentley, were excellent in a fairly difficult role for children.
Another important downside to the film was the "shocking" conclusion. While I must admit that I found it brilliant, it lacked the powerful punch I wish it had. I don't know why this is, it just isn't. I am disappointed at how much potential the ending could have packed and how little it did.
Overall, I found "The Others" a highly entertaining thriller with magnetic milieus and plenty of startles.
Rarely does a scary film come around that isn't schlocky and obvious.
'The Others', directed by the great Alejandro Amenabar (Abre los Ojos)
is a stylish, spooky and fun film to watch that doesn't cheapen itself
like so many in the genre. It is 1947 on the island of Jersey in
England, and Grace (Nicole Kidman) is the mother of two small children,
Charles (Christopher Eccleston) and Anne (Alakina Mann) who are
allergic to the sunlight, so they are not allowed to go outside.
Moreover, any room they are in has to be locked with the curtains shut,
a cumbersome task in their mansion with its 50 doors. Mysteriously, the
mansion's staff left the week before, which precipitates the arrival of
three new servants; a gardener and two housekeepers who are promptly
hired. Further complicating matters is the fact that Anne keeps talking
to an unseen child, and unexplained footsteps, opened curtains and
doors opening and shutting are starting to wear thin on the already
uber-fragile Grace, until the occurrences threaten their lives.
With 'The Others', Amenabar gives us a truly spooky and stylish thriller. The foggy atmosphere outside of the mansion, the dark rooms lit by candles within the house, both of these are just many of the beautiful stylistic areas of the film. Kidman is great as the incredibly brittle and mentally frayed Grace. While she puts on a cool, haughty façade, the circumstances she finds herself in are clearly eating away at her sanity. The actors who play her children are actually quite good themselves, particularly Alakina Mann, who holds her own in her confrontational scenes with Kidman and others. The screenplay, also written by Amenabar is quite intelligent, and if you haven't heard the 'twist' at the end, it is pretty ingenious. It is ingenious and well-written regardless, but the impact upon discovery is pretty decent.
'The Others' is not a phenomenal film by any means, but it is a refreshing change from the standard thriller/suspense fare, because it adds a truly intelligent and stylish bent to the genre. Other than children, (obviously) this film can be recommended to pretty much anyone, as long as they don't expect it to be the frenetic, jump-cut fest that is so prevalent nowadays. 'The Others' takes its time to get to its reveal, and it is worth every minute. 7/10
I'll have to admit that I put off watching this movie despite being told
several friends that it was pretty good and worth checking out. That's
mostly because "scary" movies usually turn out to be nothing but crap
riddled, cheap thrill fests with terrible acting by actors just looking
their next handout...not to mention directors that care nothing about the
progress of their careers. That and the slew of B- horror/thriller movies
that seemed to come out very close together along with this movie made me
little apprehensive. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
First off, I'd like to say that I have yet to see The Sixth Sense, so I cannot comment on any similarities between the two films that I have heard exist.
Grace (Kidman) and her two young photosensitive (X.P.) children live in a sprawling old house together in England in the 1940's and await the return of their father and husband who went off to fight the Germans in WWII. As a result of the children's very rare and dangerous skin condition, all of the house's curtains must be shut during the day and all of the doors must be closed and locked to prevent any accidental solar exposure to the children. Despite the warnings from her children and new found servants, strange things begin to happen in the house which Grace chooses not to accept or investigate...partly because of her zealous religious beliefs which leave her closed minded and ignorant to things outside her psychological realm of thinking. Sooner or later, she will have to come to terms with what's going on...
Kidman's acting is admirable in this movie, and although I usually have a hard time enjoying her films, I felt she did a very decent job here. I think she was born to play a stubborn, hard nosed, uptight tart, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. I especially enjoyed the acting performances from both of the children. Both are talented child actors and were definitely helped by the script which captured what it's like to be a child. I was constantly reminded of my own childhood amongst the belittling and teasing between the two, and of course the naive and adorable fears. The film is shot beautifully and has a lot of atmosphere, partly due to the fact that since the children are photosensitive, the house must always be dark, and the director definitely likes to play with that. There's something else that helps the film's atmosphere as well, the fog, which obviously adds to the general spookiness. But I'll leave that one alone as it plays an important role herein. The score helps as well, and is well placed and executed.
Overall, I found this to be a very respectable and enjoyable film in almost all respects, and I no longer consider Kidman a pretty face begging for nude scenes. I felt it was very well thought out, and if it weren't for a minor plothole involving Grace's husband, I would have ranked it higher.
Easily a solid 8/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Stewart household is a strange one. An isolated house in the Isle
of Jersey, it's constantly enveloped in thick, blue fog, all doors must
remain closed, and drapes block the sunlight because the children
suffer from an illness in which they are extremely sensitive to it.
Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman, finally coming to her own in a story
worthy of her talents), wakes up one morning screaming from what may
have been a nightmare. Three strangers arrive to the house and they
tell Grace they are replying for her request for domestic help -- and
almost immediately, though subtly, strange events begin happening and
it slowly becomes clear that there are other unseen, unwanted people
occupying their quarters. This only becomes more evident when Grace
discovers, to her horror, that these servants are more than what they
seem to and that her own reality is not what she believes it to be.
Alejandro Amenabar had already caught the attention of Tom Cruise who produced and starred in his own remake of OPEN YOUR EYES, which gave Cameron Diaz a nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and here he establishes himself for the American movie going public with his follow-up. Again going for clever storytelling -- even if it takes a while to take off -- and relying on atmosphere rather than on expensively produced special effects, it's a showcase for Nicole Kidman who carries the entire film on her shoulders and who conveys furious determination to protect her household and absolute terror at the unknown forces against her with intense verve. Fionulla Flannagan and Christopher Eccleston provide some interesting foils to her dominant presence, but the real star is the film itself, who never goes for a quick cheat to fabricate its denouement (diametrically opposed to what M. Night Shyamalan's style where the twist is everything). Already a contemporary classic, it will go down in cinema history as an updated take on THE HAUNTING, with more finely tuned performances, even darker atmosphere, and a rising sense of dread.
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