A woman named Grace (Kidman) is living with her two children Anne and Nicholas (Mann and Bentley) on an almost empty island in their huge mansion. Grace’s husband is a soldier in WWII and Grace has given her husband up for dead. Everything seems peaceful for her, but when three mysterious servants are given jobs at the house, terrifying secrets are unlocked that even Grace cannot handle. —IMDb
Raised in Spain after his Chile-based parents fled the country shortly before the 1973 right-wing coup d’état, Amenábar decided to be a filmmaker early on, heading to Madrid’s Complutense University to study cinema. Undeterred after his professors flunked him, Amenábar learned the craft firsthand on low-budget productions. Backed by a producer and star he met during his “apprenticeship,” Amenábar burst onto the Spanish film scene at the ripe old age of 23 as writer/director and composer with his first feature, Tesis (1996). A moody mystery involving a cinema graduate student and snuff films, Tesis was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and earned several Spanish Academy Awards. Amenábar then scored an even bigger hit with his next film, Open Your Eyes (1997). A complex psychological thriller about a womanizing egotist who is disfigured in an accident, Open Your Eyes became a blockbuster in Spain, bringing Amenábar his first international distribution and a Sundance Film Festival berth… read more
The atmosphere of this creepy ghost film is absolutely amazing and Nicole Kidman's performance is incredible. I loved that this was a throwback to gothic horror and the elements used to scare are very old fashioned. I also didn't see the ending coming in anyway what-so-ever, and even though the ending was great, it was really the rest of the film that got to me. So creepy, visually stunning and entertaining.
Striking little ghost story--on initial viewing, it's a little easy to get wrapped up in predicting the 'twist' ending, but on repeat watch, with that out of the way, what sticks is the craftsmanship - gorgeous use of light and fog, playfully ambiguous performances and a story that plays a bit like a sardonic twist of Plato's allegory of the cave, dealing w/ orthodoxy at war with the great mysteries of the universe.
What a gorgeous, elegant and effective little gem. "The Others" stands out in a decade where Guillemero Del Toro's CGI-heavy creature flicks were the heavy hitting horror films as a somber, brooding, atmospheric chiller that understands it's what we DON'T see that is the most terrifying. An astounding performance from Nicole Kidman, easily her best, is as compelling as the slow burning tension of the tale.