11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Just when we all thought we'd seen the back of the good old fashioned creepy ghost story along comes The Others, a good old fashioned creepy ghost story. Starring Nicole Kidman in her second great role and performance of the year (if you haven't already checked out Moulin Rouge you should).
The Others was the surprise sleeper hit of Fall 2001. Directed by Spaniard Alejandro Amenabar (who directed Spanish thriller 'Open Your Eyes' recently remade as Vanilla Sky) and produced by the now ex Mr and Mrs Cruise, The Others is a welcome return to the art of suspense, as opposed to the often very poor modern schlock horror bloodfests that seem to appear in our movie theatres on a weekly basis. Set in the English channel island of Jersey shortly after its occupation by German forces during World war II, Grace (Nicole Kidman) is a single mother, apparently widowed, struggling to bring up her children in an old mansion, lacking in basic amenities such as electricity, which was cut off during the war. This is complicated further by the fact that her children suffer from a rare but potentially life-threatening allergy to sunlight and her daughter's claims that the house is haunted. In need of new servants, three mysteriously appear out of the fog BUT did they respond to Grace's advertisement or does their arrival signal a more sinister turn of events?
Director, Alejandro Amenabar skilfully takes us on a tour of Grace's impossibly large and foreboding house, permanently in semi-darkness and surrounded by fog. From a slow start and be warned it is a slow start, he slowly but steadily cranks up the tension and suspense, posing more questions than he gives answers, slowly building a grip around your heart and squeezing gently. Nicole Kidman shines as the stern mother losing her mind in what is likely to be an Oscar nominated performance (although in my opinion she is better in Moulin Rouge) and she is ably supported by Eric Sykes as the gardener Mr Tuttle, the two children (Alakina Mann and James Bentley), Christopher Eccleston and in particular, the excellent Fionnula Flannagan as the housekeeper. And although you might just guess the ending before all is revealed, this is still an excellent old fashioned ghost story that (in my opinion) surpasses the likes of 'What lies Beneath' and unless you strongly dislike slow paced films I would highly recommend this.