The Others

Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Alakina Mann, James Bentley
Directed by Alejandro Amenábar
Rating: A

A widow and her two children inhabit an American mansion during World War II. One day the servants walk out of the home with no word and soon after she becomes convinced her house is haunted.

Mystery and suspense are the two key elements of The Others, which makes it a successful horror film. This isn’t your average jump-scare movie. The Others makes you question the sanity of the family from the beginning when Grace (Kidman) shows her new housekeepers around. There are two strict rules they must follow: first, every door must be locked before opening a new one, and second, the curtains must be drawn all of the time due to her children’s allergy to sunlight. This automatically creates a suspenseful atmosphere for a haunted house story.

The new housekeepers have a secret of their own. An old couple followed by their mute daughter appear out of the blue before Grace has even advertised the positions needed. They seem to be familiar with the house before they have been shown around. They creep around the house but they aren’t responsible for the bangs and bumps Grace keeps hearing.

Another unreliable character is Grace’s young daughter, Anne, who believes ghosts are people covered in a white sheet with chains clanking as they move. When Anne talks about the mysterious boy she has become friends with who lives in the house, viewers are left to wonder if she is just too naive to realize she has been talking to a ghost.

The Others is a great horror movie without getting into too terrifying of an atmosphere. It gets psychological and the ending is a twist not many will see coming. Between creeping around in a dark mansion and hearing things that shouldn’t be there, this family doesn’t know how to fight their ghosts. This isn’t a movie that will leave you scared to sleep at night. It’s a movie that will keep you thinking about how clever it was.


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