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On another level, though, this movie will inspire a self examination of how one perceives realities. It does this by exposing the filters and assumptions that we all use when observing and mentally correlating those observations with our knowledge of fact into our realities. It also has an obvious message about coexistence and acceptance.
Regardless of whether or not one believes in the supernatural, the story and the ending will be completely unexpected for most who watch this movie. The many clues wrapped in foreshadowing and other plot devices will not make sense until the end, but if you carefully examine them a day or so after watching this movie you'll have some keen insights into your own unique set of filters and assumptions that you use daily.
There are other levels and messages within this movie that will surface days or weeks after watching it, such as the way the female characters are portrayed as more proactive, central figures than the male characters. The movie also challenges religious beliefs in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. I am not sure if this is yet another subtle layer of the plot or if it reflects the views and biases of the writers and director - but these elements are there.
If you enjoy great dialog and a masterful story with an interesting plot that is presented with beautiful visuals then you'll love this movie on an artistic level. If you enjoy mental challenges and subtlety that is presented with social and cogitative challenges you'll love this movie on a deeper level.
Kidman plays Grace, a mother of two children living in an expansive New England mansion surrounded by a ceaseless fog and dry vegetation. When three house servants show up at her door, they are bewildered by the manner in which Grace runs the household, closing each door before opening another, and closing any and all curtains to prevent all sunlight from invading the rooms.
We learn the sunlight is harmful to her young children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley). From the beginning, Anne speaks of a past event that occurred between her and her mother, and of apparitions throughout the house. Grace dismisses her comments as rubbish, but becomes increasingly uneasy once she begins hearing voices in the upstairs rooms, and finds that doors in the house open and close by themselves without a key.
As the movie progresses, Amenabar creates a distinctly uneasy atmosphere in which even the audience knows better than to look at this house as little more than an expensive home. From a continuous fog to the whisperings of voices and things that go bump in the night, the scares come not from what we see, but what we don't see, which is even scarier than you may think. Amenabar proves that one needn't be subjected to a special effect in order to be frightened.Read more ›
The premise, which seems deeply influenced by both Henry James' THE TURN OF THE SCREW and the 1960s film version known as THE INNOCENTS, concerns a woman who resides with her two children in an isloated mansion following World War II. Her situation is dire: her husband is missing in action and presumed dead; her children suffer from a rare genetic disease that makes sunlight dangerous to them; her servants have departed in the night without a word of warning. The latter problem seems remedied by the arrival of new servants--but no sooner are they installed than odd happenings begin to occur. Is the woman going mad? Are the servants involved? Have intruders secretly entered the house? Or could it be--something unearthly?
The cast is exceptionally good here, with Fionnula Flanagan as the newly arrived servant Mrs. Mills and children Alakina Mann and James Bentley giving remarkable performances. But the focus is on Nicole Kiddman as Grace, a role that Kiddman plays with a white-knuckled grip and considerable ferocity--so much so that it becomes extremely difficult to like, much less sympathize, with the character.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had seen this movie years ago in the theatres. Suspenseful with dramatic irony. Not too scary for adults; probably inappropriate for childrenPublished 21 hours ago by Christian Urena
It's certainly an excellent film. One of those quiet ones but once it starts getting into motion it becomes a thrilling suspense that makes you guess at what's going to happen... Read morePublished 21 hours ago by Nicholas T.
I was totally shocked with the ending. I didn't have a clue. I loved it.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
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