Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar brings this psychological/supernatural horror film THE OTHERS which is an art piece with excellent narration. What you should expect here is not just another haunted-house tale where the living meets the dead with all creepiness; rather it is the other way around.
Set in post-WW II England, the movie tells the story of a young mother Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) who lives with her two children waiting for her husband to return from war, although he has been declared missing. They almost live in isolation away from any contact with people from outside; at least this is what you see until the arrival of three servants at the house.
Grace, who was in search of new servants after her former helpers disappear (this is what she explains to her new servants), lets her new servants know some basic rules of the house. They were warned not to open one door without closing another door and must not remove any curtains of the house, almost to keep the house without any sunlight. This is because, the children Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), both suffer from a rare photosensitivity disease.
The arrival of new helpers: an aging nanny named Mrs. Bertha Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), an elderly gardener named Mr. Edmund Tuttle (Eric Sykes), and a young mute girl named Lydia (Elaine Cassidy), brings many unusual occurrences. Although at first, Grace blames the servants for those odd events, when her children, too, complain the same, coupled with her own experience, she finally starts believing that they are not alone in the house.
‘The Others’ – Watch the movie trailer
One of the finest aspects of this film is the whole strategy of creating suspense as well as thrill just with the pace of the story which is very simple yet never leaves a clue for you to get to the bottom of the story. There have been many horror movies, but the atmosphere it creates is very interesting and engaging as we keep our guessing game on.
With THE OTHERS, Nicole Kidman delivers one of her finest performances as she duels with dualities of her character: on one hand, she is a strong disciplinary woman with no sense of fear, and on the other side an over-protective mother who gets frightened by those unusual occurrences.
Overall, THE OTHERS is one of the finest movies in the horror genre without any such bloody violence, special effects, and unnecessary jump scares. While you will end up praising the performance of each character, it is indeed the story and a very careful narration that together stands out in delivering a chillingly effective tale.
‘The Others’ movie is now streaming on Netflix and multiple other OTT platforms.
Plot: A woman with her children moves to a mansion on a remote island. The children have a disease and cannot be touched by direct sunlight. When three new servants arrive, strange sounds and disturbing events make for constant suspense.
Director: Alejandro Amenabar
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston, Elaine Cassidy, Eric Sykes, Alakina Mann, and James Bentley.
Release Date: August 10, 2001 (US)