Tuesday, October 12, 2010

31 Days of Halloween - Day 12 - Movie

Like The Haunting (1963) and The Changeling (1980) The Others (2001) is a haunted house movie rich with atmosphere, a slow build-up, and where the power of suggestion fills in admirably when it comes to  depicting the unseen occupants of the residence that sits at the center of the story. Also, like its predecessors, The Others has an excellent cast, director, and a smart screenplay.

Grace (Nicole Kidman) a tightly wrapped mother of two children (Alakina Mann and James Bentley)  deathly sensitive to sunlight takes on three new servants (Fionnula Flanagan, Eric Sykes and Elaine Cassidy) when her previous servants suddenly disappeared. We immediately get the sense that not all is right in the fog shrouded house where every door in the house must be closed and locked at all times, and the children claim that they've seen others, including a small boy, who claim the house belongs to them, and that they want to drive the current occupants out.  Thorough searches of the house reveal no intruders though they make their presence known nonetheless. There are other mysteries afoot as well, and the new servants seem to know the answers which they're unwilling to share.

The secrets are there to be solved while you watch this and unlocking them does not diminish the effectiveness of the movie. I'd figured out the secret about halfway in when I first saw this movie. This was my first viewing since it's initial release and I was concerned that it wouldn't work if you knew everything up front, but I found myself getting caught up in it anyway. If you like classic haunted house movies that don't rely on a lot of special effects and cheap jump scares, then I strongly recommend this movie.


Rev. Dr. said...

Incredibly underrated film. I remember my desire to see this film was fairly close to nil as I walked begrudgingly into the theater. Two hours later I was mightily impressed and kick myself every time I'm reminded of The Others that I don't own it. Probably the best haunted house movie of the past few decades, IMHO.

John Rozum said...

Sometimes there's something to be said for holding out on buying a movie to own. You can buy in now dirt cheap. There's a link at the end of my post.

James Gracey said...

I loved the slow-burn approach of this one. Wonderfully atmospheric and genuinely startling denouement. Poignant and chilling.

Stephen said...

I really liked this one, too, and I didn't see the end coming. I agree with you - it's a great film.