|starring||nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston|
|tagline||Sooner Or Later They Will Find You.|
|trailer 1||Trailer #1|
In ?The Others?, Alenjandro Amenabar?s intensely powerful ghost story, Anne (Alakina Mann) insists to her younger brother, Nicholas (James Bentley), that ?it did happen?. Just what exactly is it is the question that sends shivers up the spine and is also the mysterious key to ?The Others?, an almost poetic, lyrical fairy tale of gentle quakes and atmosphere-heavy dimensions. Even with star Nicole Kidman at the helm, you?re just never quite sure where this entwining allegory of shadows and footsteps will take you.
Kidman is Grace, a strict, cool-as-molasses English mother living in a huge mansion off of the English Channel during the impatient last days of World War II with her two kids, Anne and Nicholas. Her husband, Charles (Christopher Eccleston, ?Elizabeth?), has yet to return home from his war duties and all of the housemaids simply vanished one night, leaving Grace and the children all alone. In one of many hypnotic scenes, three figures emerge from the fog like silent vampires crawling out of their darkened terrain. These abstruse characters are Mrs. Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), Mr. Tuttle (Eric Sykes), and Lydia (Elaine Cassidy), the new house orderlies. And they are to be very careful with Grace?s rules. Her two kids have a rare skin disorder and can not be exposed to sunlight, for it can kill them. All curtains must be kept shut tight and all doors must be kept closed and locked before another is opened.
Usually in a movie like this we?d want all the curtains and lights on, wanting to get away from the impending darkness that engulfs the house in a whirlpool of creepiness. But Grace and the kids have lived in the dark for so long they welcome it with open arms. It is the light that terrifies in ?The Others?. Things start to get ominous when Anne urges that she has converted with a young boy who wonders the halls crying. Grace even hears this weeping and frantically assumes it?s one of the children. Anne says it is Victor, the little lad who keeps her company at night. There is one dilettante scene where Anne and Nicholas lay in bed as Victor torments them. In one sweeping move, Victor (his silhouette) runs past the bed and throws open the window?s curtains as little Nicholas lies there, eyes widening with fear.
The true heart of ?The Others? is Grace and Kidman gives an outstanding performance as the stressed mother. Looking a bit like Grace Kelly?s sister with the blonde bob and creamy white skin, Kidman exudes a radiance on screen that is hard to ignore, much in the vein as Kelly during her Hitchcock days of ?Rear Window? and ?To Catch a Thief?. But where Kelly?s characters were level-headed and spunky, Grace, in ?The Others?, is hyper-sensitive, moody, suffers from migraines, and, sooner or later, looks as if she could go off the deep end. ?The Others? is as much a ghost spook chiller as it is a saddening tale of depression and isolation. Outside, it is always plush with fog and clouds, making civilization seem far away, the Grace mansion in a world all its own.
Amenabar (?Open Your Eyes?) remembers that what scares us most is what we can?t see. The desperation and loneliness of feelings is sometimes the scariest of all. Things that go bump in the night and freaky Books of the Dead are the epitome of true thriller-chills. And if by the end you don?t think you?ve seen one of the finer horror pictures of the 90s, maybe you should give ?The Others? another visit. It?s a masterwork of strong storytelling, what ?The Innocents? was to the 60s horror frame. Now if black-and-white was as popular as it was then, ?The Others? would be any classic horror aficionado?s wet dream.