The Others (2001)

the others poster 2001 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Creepy story, Kidman and Mann do well as mother/daughter

Slow moving, a bit obvious twist

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Others

Studio: Dimension Films

Genre(s): Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s): August 2, 2001

MPAA Rating: PG-13

the others ghosts drawing

Who are “the Others”?

Grace (Nicole Kidman) lives with her two children Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley) in the countryside after World War II.  When a old man, old woman, and girl show up seeking work, things begin to happen.  Anne talks about seeing a boy named Victor and the family who lives with him.  Grace begins hearing sounds and bumps in the night.  Now, Grace wonders if she’s going crazy or if there is something more sinister going on.  As she seeks the answers to her questions, she might not like what she discovers.

Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, The Others is a supernatural horror movie.  The film was released to critical acclaim and quickly gained a cult following.

I love a good horror movie, and The Others inspires by bringing creepy horror and jumps to a classic Gothic ghost story.  The movie relies on a twist ending (which is not entirely predictable, but one of those twists you can figure out if you are thinking on the first viewing).  Due to the twist ending, a ******spoiler alert****** exists for the rest of the review.

the others old woman ghost

I am your daughter!

The movie excels by just being off.  There is something really wrong in the house to begin with.  It is wartime, but the behavior of everyone including the strange new servants does not seem natural.  The story seems to borrow a bit from Henry James’ A Turn of the Screw which also featured a woman going crazy in a home involving children playing games…the children’s “sickness” in general seems a bit unlikely due to the time period and a lack of understanding of a child who couldn’t be exposed to sunlight.  It is a slow, creeping burn that pays off.

Nicole Kidman is great as the icy, yet insanely protective Grace.  She can go from calm to rage in moments, and you can tell she’s at a breaking point.  She can’t decide if she wants to believe in the intruders in the house or if it is easier to assume that they don’t exist.  It is a scary but kind of realistic unbalanced behavior.

the others nicole kidman alakina mann james bentley

Mother’s always here for you…

Kidman’s backed up by a great supporting cast.  In particular, Alakina Mann playing her daughter is very strong.  She does a great job being devious and innocent at the same time.  It would be hard to share the screen with Nicole Kidman at such a young age, but Alakina nails all of her scenes with Kidman and often outplays her.  In addition to Alikina, Fionnula Flanagan does a nice turn as the creepy housekeeper Mrs. Mills that knows more than she’s saying.  There is also a short but nice cameo by Christopher Eccleston as Grace’s husband away from home because of the war.

The visuals of the movie are drenched in Gothic lore.  It has that darkness and foreboding nature that hangs over all the story.  The use of natural light and extreme darkness gives the picture a unique and stylized look.

The Others is one of those films that you can watch a few times.  The first viewing is sometimes a surprise by the twist (it is not hard to figure out if you are paying attention), but the movie is enhanced by a second viewing to see all the covered plot points and the behavior of characters explained.  The tight script has so much layered into it with stories and dialogue that it is rewarding to rewatch and enjoy again.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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