MOVIE REVIEW: “The Others” stars Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!, Eyes Wide Shut), Fionnula Flanagan (Yes Man, Four Brothers), Alakina Mann (Girl with a Pearl Earring, Fungus the Bogeyman), James Bentley (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Stella Street), Christopher Eccleston (Thor: The Dark World, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), Eric Sykes (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Sykes [TV series]), and Elaine Cassidy (The Loft, Disco Pigs). It is written and directed by Alejandro Amenabar (The Sea Inside, Open Your Eyes). Grace Stewart (Kidman) and her two kids Anne (Mann) and Nicholas (Bentley) have been living in their grand, old house for a very long time. It’s been just them three since their recent staff left out of nowhere, as well as the man of the house, Charles Stewart (Eccleston), who went off to fight the war since it is around the time of World War II. Soon three new employees show up to take care of their house, but there are quite a lot of rules to follow according to Grace. Like how her children can’t be exposed to sunlight because of a disease they have that gives them burns and welts on their skin. All seems to be going smoothly once the employees get to work, but it doesn’t take long for that to come to a halt. This is because Grace, her kids, and the house staff don’t seem to be the only ones living in the house.
Others! Others! Others! No, this isn’t “Lost,” and if you understood that reference, bravo. This is a well-constructed horror film that offers a ton of mystery and some metaphors along the way. I’ve stated in my “Sleepy Hollow” review, at least I think, that I’m not a horror fan. Not only because a good bit of them are mediocre at best, but also because I’m not the type to choose a movie specifically to get a scare. I can sit through a horror, I just choose to avoid them. So in the spirit of Halloween, I’ve decided to head back to the horror genre in hopes to add more entries to that said genre since I don’t review that much. And the first film I turned to was “The Others,” a flick that has been sitting in my parents’ movie booklet for a long time which has sometimes come up in conversations in terms of recommendations. I’ve seen the trailer long ago, but have turned away from it on the terms of a better picture around the corner. The reason for me watching it now? Time. I was pressed for it since I only had a small window of free time that allowed for an hour and forty minutes, just enough to finish this movie. Don’t let that turn you away, however. It showed promise and I believed it to be a good use of my time. So the question really is, was it a good use? Yes. What this film does is combine elements of mystery, horror, and thriller into one, giving you a story that has a lot going for it. To be written and directed by the same guy screams a passion project if anything and I can tell that this picture took its time to craft a story right. The story keeps us locked in the dark, both figuratively and literally (the house was like a consumed, dark prison). There were times throughout the course of this venture where I thought I had the ending pinpointed, but then swiftly I was turned around another direction. Throughout this movie, I couldn’t help but think about Stanley Kubrick and how bizarre his “The Shining” film was and how it can relate to this one. So many questions arise during this movie and thankfully all is answered by the end. There were times when watching that I would get freaked out mentally because there was a lot of foreshadowing of a jump scare or a random surprise appearance of a ghost and only a few times did it actually happen. I was on edge once things picked up pace and was sweating because although I had an idea of what would happen in my mind, I was always unsure. Besides the plot line, what really builds this movie up is the characters. Such good acting was involved in this flick and I commend everyone that acted in it. I was surprised at the fantastic performances given by everyone, including the kids. The director was great at providing them with a motive and guided them to great portrayals. Nicole Kidman did a terrific job as well, and gave such a deep role that was easy to figure out, yet different levels of her unexpectedly came to light throughout the movie that even surprised me. I thought the suspense was top-notch and it wasn’t until the end where everything came crashing down, leaving me with two-thirds of a picture to wallow in my own stress as to what happens next. One thing I did catch in the movie’s credits was that it was executively produced by Tom Cruise, probably because it was around the time him and Kidman were married. Interesting tidbit I had to share. The issues I found with this film are rather misconstrued in my head. It’s hard to figure out what is wrong with a movie when they get their job done in terms of messing with my head. I guess one I have on the top of my melon is that this film can be slow. A lot of things can get repeated and circled back around in terms of Kidman’s character confirming or denying the ghosts exist and really the only thing to grasp on is the suspense of wanting to see the end results. That would probably get split into two cons, just by reading what I wrote. Even though I said it was slow, there was some very good dialogue and I liked the addition of Christianity in this movie, even though some things seemed rather odd (like the four different universes of Hell). Overall, I was impressed by both how well-written this film is and how greatly performed. I recommend this to any psychological horror fan or suspense fan! FINAL SCORE: 89%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: