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The Others (2001)


The Others is a haunted house horror movie starring Nicole Kidman as Grace, this single mother to two light-sensitive children. The light sensitivity necessitates that all windows have blackout curtains and doors between rooms are always locked. It comes across as beyond obsessive-compulsive rather than truly protective of the children.

The film is set in 1945 when Grace is recently widowed by the loss of her husband during World War Two. Grace never seems fully present in a fantastic performance by Kidman. Writer and Director Alejandro Amenábar did not rely on special effects in this film. Instead, he relies on closeup shots of Kidman and her over the top delivery to induce fear in the audience. It works very effectively.

The film clocks in at 101 minutes, but at times it felt much longer. It was a deliberate choice on Amenábar’s part to draw out camera shots and extended scenes of locking and unlocking doors. The resolution of the film is incredibly quick, but there is not much left to say after the reveal. I was disappointed in the lack of clues sprinkled throughout the movie hinting at the ending. It felt like the writer held back too much information and didn’t allow the audience to get one step ahead. Just like the children, the audience is kept in the dark.

Nicole Kidman is a phenomenal actress and lives up to the hype in The Others. The film has its high points and has aged well, but the story feels a bit incomplete by not letting amateur sleuths figure it out before the big reveal. The ending felt like more of a letdown than anything else, but it was clever. I felt it was a little below average, but I can see it appealing to many horror fans.

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