Time: 114 mins.
I have to say that though the trailers intrigued me, the only reason I went to see this little thriller was because of the word-of-mouth. Tired of all the empty, boring blockbusters, I wanted to see a film that relied more on mood and story, than explosions and pretty faces. I also happen to be a big fan of Ms. Kidman. The roles she chooses are never dull and are always different from anything else she's played. This is no exception. More a suspense drama than an all-out horror flick, THE OTHERS is an old-fashioned tale, full of tension and creepiness. You never quite now what's truly going on. Until the very end when a number of supposedly big shocks are revealed. I liked the way they were done, but the truth was no surprise to me. The film was going for a SIXTH SENSE kind of reveal, but the story is just not complicated enough to pull it off. Whether you figure out the payoff or not, it's still surprisingly exciting. This is all familiar territory; however, the acting and cinematography breathe new life into this dusty tale.
There's just nothing like a supposedly haunted house to get the chills running up and down my spine. Most people are the same way for the good reason that we are horrified at the thought of it happening to us. I always wonder why the new owners just don't leave and start over somewhere less populated with invisible demons. In this case, Nicole Kidman plays Grace, a young mother waiting with her two children for the return of her husband from the war. She suffers from loneliness and migraines, though that's nothing compared to the children. Anne (Mann) and Nicholas (Bentley) are photo-sensitive to light, forced to live in relative darkness without ever seeing daylight or suffer the painful, and perhaps deadly, consequences. It's no wonder their mother is more than a little jumpy. She's also quite religious, putting her trust in God that everything will turn out right. The children aren't so sure. Something happened between them and their mother that makes them especially cautious with her. Things seem to be looking up when 3 new servants arrive Mrs. Mills (Flanagan) the housekeeper, Mr. Tuttle (Sikes) the gardner and Lydia (Cassidy) a serving girl.
It seems they used to work at the house years ago. Grace is a little skeptical, but she needs the help and they seem harmless enough. Her one condition is that they keep the doors and curtains closed to protect the children from any daylight. It appears to be an easy request to accommodate, but strange things begin to happen. Grace hears voices and doors are opened without being closed. She initially blames the servants, but it soon becomes clear that another force is inside the house. Anne tries to explain that she's seen these other people in the house, but Grace refuses to listen to that kind of talk. There's nothing in the bible about ghosts and Anne knows better than to scare her younger brother with spooky tales of the undead. A search of the house from top to bottom reveals nothing. The return of her husband Charles (Eccleston) temporarily puts an end to the speculation, but he doesn't stay long and things quickly come to a head. With the childrens' lives at stake, Grace becomes insanely protective. She can no longer deny the fact that something is out to get them. Their final contact with the intruders changes their world forever.