Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #215 The Others

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2011 at 2:28 AM

Movie #215 The Others

(2001, US, d. Alejandro Amenabar)

This is one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen, and I knew the ending going in. It’s hard to talk a lot about The Others because the premise it is based on is so paper thin, if I were to give even a little information away, the ending could be ruined. Basically, it’s a haunted house story about a mother (played by Nicole Kidman) after WWII who lives alone with her son and daughter in a sprawling mansion somewhere in the UK. Soon, the kids begin to claim there are ‘0thers’ who inhabit the house and desire it themselves. I don’t want to even compare it the other film it’s a lot like, because connecting those two films will also ruin the ending, but I feel I must. So be warned: SPOILERS FOLLOW. The Others is a lot like M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, not only from a plot standpoint but also stylistically. Amenabar never wants to show the audience anything until the last possible moment. A single moment is dragged on for nearly 20 minutes in this film, such as to the point where you can’t take it anymore from fear or – let’s face it – boredom. For me, it was the former. I was so freaking scared watching this film that I had to go on Wikipedia and read it’s ending. I was so freaking scared watching this film that I had to pause multiple times and just do something else. I was so scared watching this film I moved it from the home TV to my laptop, where the screen wasn’t even fully maximized. I was so scared watching this film that near the climax, I was watching from an angle so I wouldn’t get freaked out too much. This is coming from a guy who doesn’t care for scary films. Though other critics may disagree, I think Amenabar’s style here works. Though at times, it does make you feel a little bored (a compliment to M. Night Shyamalan who, with the exact same task, managed to intrigue audiences the whole way through), The Others is a great film bolstered by the unusually strong performance for a genre film. Nicole Kidman puts in so much gut and life into this widow and believes in everything that she says that the audience can’t help but invest in her character.  If you haven’t seen this film, watch it. That is, if you think you can handle it.

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