A woman who lives in her darkened old family house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that the home is haunted.A woman who lives in her darkened old family house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that the home is haunted.A woman who lives in her darkened old family house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that the home is haunted.
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.
- Jan 23, 2004