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Overall Rating
4.19

Awesome54.13%
Worth A Look: 26.03%
Just Average: 10.33%
Pretty Crappy: 3.31%
Sucks: 6.2%

12 reviews, 170 user ratings



Others, The
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by Andrew Howe

"Feel the fear, and watch it anyway."
4 stars

The superstitions of bygone eras have no place in a technologically advanced society, but the continuing popularity of the ghost story is a testament to our lingering primal fears. They might not mean much to you, but they mean a heck of a lot to your subconscious, and The Others goes digging around in that dark place to see what it can drag to the surface. It’s the kind of film that makes you feel young again, but not in a vital, refreshing way – it’s a conduit to nights spent listening to the whistling wind, sheets pulled up to your chin, waiting for the spectral figures to rise up from under the bed and drag you into their eternal night.

To give away the plot is grounds for a guillotining, so I’ll be brief. The curtains open on an imposing mansion inhabited by Grace (Nicole Kidman) and her young children (James Bentley and Alakina Mann). It’s the last days of World War II, Grace’s husband has yet to return from the front, and the servants have mysteriously disappeared. An aged housekeeper, a gardener and a mute girl arrive to fill the positions, and then … well, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

If the haunted mansion has become a stereotype, it’s because ghosts wandering around a modern-day villa just don’t make the grade. You need musty attics, boarded-up basements, flights of stairs fashioned with creaking boards, mist-shrouded woods, lanterns that never quite penetrate the gloom – it’s the stuff of nightmares, and director Alejandro Amenábar doesn’t miss a single opportunity to create an atmosphere of foreboding. Javier Aguirresarobe’s camera always seems to be in the right place, never revealing too much or too little, and some of the set-ups border on brilliance (I won’t ruin the surprise by telling you what they are, but believe me when I say that you’ll know them when you see them).

In addition to directing the film, Amenábar has fashioned a razor-sharp script built around the belief that hooking your audience requires a measure of restraint. There’s no cheap shocks, “ghost cam” point-of-view shots, or gut-punch violence, just a slow-burn narrative that builds the tension to breaking point without ever becoming too leisurely. Certain scenes are genuinely unsettling (a book of unusual photographs is extremely disturbing), and by the time the climax arrives you may just find yourself experiencing the kind of gut-churning fear that very few fictional creations are capable of eliciting.

The cast is uniformly excellent – I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve taken it upon myself to disparage Ms Kidman’s acting ability, but with a single magnificent performance she’s served me a king-sized slice of humble pie. The icy demeanour that annoyed me so often in the past is the perfect accompaniment to her role: Grace is never particularly likeable, but watching her self-confidence disintegrate is one of the film’s guilty pleasures, and Kidman’s tightly wound performance is integral to the film’s oppressive tone.

Bentley and Mann make it their mission to prove that adolescent actors are good for something other than irritating the viewer, and Fionnula Flanagan brings a versatility to her portrayal of the new housekeeper that will have most viewers wondering why she’s been consigned to a career of films that nobody’s seen. It’s the kind of cast you get when someone actually bothers to consider whether the actors are suited to their roles, and I can only hope that the exposure doesn’t see the supporting players prostitute their talent for a quick buck.

The film’s word-of-mouth success in the US market is a one finger salute to the Hollywood system, since it reminds us that creating a memorable film really isn’t that difficult: just hire a scriptwriter and a director who possess a measure of talent (given the current world population, there’s a lot of them out there) and a cast chosen for reasons other than to enhance the film’s marketability. It tells the studios that they should cease commissioning scripts by three-time losers, that they should think twice before placing Simon West behind the camera or Steven Seagal in front of it, and that they should hire a few executives who can tell the difference between trash and treasure.

When you purchase a ticket to The Others you’re not just gaining entrance to one of the most enjoyable, artfully-constructed films of the year, you’re sending the current crop of movers and shakers the message that it’s time they took a permanent vacation. Just don’t let the film burrow too deeply into your subconscious, or you’ll be telling them from a padded cell.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5495&reviewer=193
originally posted: 11/05/01 16:58:55
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell spooky & entertaining nice if corny twist at the end 4 stars
10/06/15 brian Really?! *I'M* the only one who guessed the ending before Act I was over? I'm usually last! 2 stars
6/22/12 Dave Best horror film since Poltergeist or the Changeling 5 stars
12/28/11 David Hollingsworth A creepy masterclass in superb subtlety 5 stars
10/18/09 gal from oz wow, wow and wow. Well directed brilliant cast and little twists everywhere! Fabulous! 5 stars
1/12/09 Anonymous. really isn't scary at all, but the story is intriguing. :D 3 stars
12/20/08 Shaun Wallner Scary Film! 5 stars
11/29/08 Sagitelle Nice twist on an old tale 4 stars
11/15/08 Chode Horribly boring. Felt like I was sitting through a tax seminar. 1 stars
5/23/08 PAUL SHORTT COLD, DISTANCING AND MOVES AT A GLACIAL PACE 1 stars
9/07/07 ravenmad truly. this is how to tell a creepy story. And no one's guts feel out. Go figure! 5 stars
7/24/07 MP Bartley Very spooky and beautifully directed. 5 stars
5/02/07 Tony D great cast great ending great movie!!!!!! 5 stars
3/27/07 fools♫gold Like Pulp Fiction, the number of classics this film nods to is OVERWHELMING! 5 stars
2/12/07 The chode Absolutely horrible. 2 stars
1/22/07 jeannie karlsen nicole kidman is excellent in this first rate thriller, better then "the 6th sense" 5 stars
1/21/07 David A. A superb ghost story--makes you wonder what's real and what isn't. 5 stars
1/14/07 David Pollastrini didn't see that twist coming! 4 stars
9/20/06 Quigley one of the creepiest movies ever made. truly a movie worth the hype. classic ending 5 stars
8/11/06 Gisella Koroknai Engagingly creepy, intelligent, moving 5 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist Not too bad, lots of decent twists. 3 stars
6/07/06 Peggy Doty KEPT ME GUESSING 5 stars
1/30/06 ronald mediocre when compared to the superior ''the sixth sense'' 1 stars
10/11/05 Tom Burns a very good thriller, love the ending. 5 stars
8/24/05 Anthony G so boring I had to whip out my dick to keep entertained. 1 stars
8/17/05 ES Interesting premise, makes you hope it doesn't happen to you 4 stars
8/03/05 ^podo really scary and great! 5 stars
7/31/05 TheOthersFan Beautiful and Terrifying 5 stars
7/20/05 Chris Very interesting 5 stars
6/28/05 i like eggs total bolluks 3 stars
6/28/05 Won Lung So scary I lost my breath 5 stars
6/28/05 Lewis Ball seeing as i have no penis i enjoyed it 5 stars
6/22/05 Wayne Rooney So scary I got really frightened and wet myself 1 stars
6/22/05 Bob Stains total bollukk 1 stars
6/22/05 Big dave Not scary, if you want a thrill try eating a load of vindaloos from a dodgey looking stall 1 stars
6/10/05 Rock-Steady Fucking borefest, more excitement taking a diarrhea shit 1 stars
3/24/05 indrid cold A rare thing: a horror movie that's actually scary. But just barely. 4 stars
3/23/05 Alice Colwell great movie 5 stars
2/22/05 haha when I cant sleep I just pop this movie in, great for insomniacs! 1 stars
2/19/05 John Bale Clever plot after HAUNTED, well acted and a succesful venture into the supernatural 5 stars
11/17/04 chris brilliance pure class 5 stars
11/15/04 Yvette This movie is soo awesome. It is psychologically frightening and makes you think alot 5 stars
11/06/04 nopee the scariest movie i've ever seen 4 stars
11/01/04 Derek P I thought this was the greatest movie ever 5 stars
8/04/04 TheOthersFan Beautiful, terrifying 5 stars
8/01/04 Anthony G fucking borefest, more excitement taking a diarrhea shit 1 stars
7/13/04 Daveman Beautifully photographed with some truely surreal sequences. 4 stars
4/20/04 gabriel a masterpiece !!! 5 stars
3/30/04 true review - correct review everytime great, intimate cast almost like a play, engaging plot completely opens up with twist endin 5 stars
3/14/04 Raymond great acting, clever story, awesome cinematography! 5 stars
1/26/04 Eric When I cant sleep I just pop this in.Who needs sleeping pills when u got this movie 1 stars
1/14/04 pyst haha, Kidman's performance was pathetic 3 stars
1/14/04 Richard Williams First movie I've ever seen that I WASN'T able to predict the ending. F'n GREAT! 5 stars
11/28/03 john great old fashioned ghost story and very scary 5 stars
11/06/03 eisprincess913 It was definaely different 4 stars
10/31/03 Littlepurch Gr8 film. Shame the sixth sense was made first. 4 stars
9/27/03 snowconehead It's been done before, but never better 4 stars
9/17/03 Abby I haven't had one in twenty years, but this movie gave me nightmares! 5 stars
8/26/03 Anastasia Beaverhausen Proves you don't need a drop of blood to scare 5 stars
8/17/03 Summer Psychologically frightening, which is harder than blood and guts. Entire cast is chilling. 5 stars
6/21/03 ashley i think that was the best movie i have ever seen 5 stars
5/23/03 TheOthersFan Beautiful! Terrifying! Best movie of all time! Robbed of the oscars it deserved! 5 stars
5/16/03 Joesco Over-rated - Kidman good but ending telegraphed from when Ecclestone appears 3 stars
5/10/03 Mystique good..... 4 stars
3/26/03 Jen Cool movie, but the ending seemed strangely familiar? (sixth sense) 4 stars
3/24/03 Blabity blah Nicole was great as the flighty mother. Best ending since Sixth Sence. Creepy and cold. 5 stars
2/26/03 Vangela direction is tense and claustrophobic; mirrors the plot. Cool. 4 stars
2/14/03 Chris I knew the ending and I still loved it. 4 stars
2/07/03 mr. Pink Kidman is teriffic. Beatiful and tense. Horror and drama at it's best! 5 stars
2/05/03 Rory Lawford Why don't more filmmakers do this? no overdone CGI, just perfect direction, script & actors 5 stars
2/02/03 Turtle A sad, misguided Sixth Sense rip-off which isn't at all scary. Worst movie in a LOOONG time 1 stars
1/20/03 Leanne Mullins Great ghost story. Makes you wonder about the other side 5 stars
1/11/03 Mitsaso Excellent movie and idea(Nicole was also great) 5 stars
11/01/02 pk excellent 5 stars
10/05/02 TheOthersFan Outstrips "Sixth Sense" and "Haunting" like nobody's business. Bravo, Alejandro Amenabar! 5 stars
9/29/02 Fuze44 Word to the mutha, I likes me some ghosts. 4 stars
7/22/02 Bueller I see dead people. I see lots, and lots, and lots of boring dead people. This must be Hell! 3 stars
7/21/02 Ghost Story fan classic of the genre. unsettling, & a deeply moving tragedy. one of the finest ever. 5 stars
7/09/02 Pussy D. Willow I finally understand what they mean by the most terrifying things being what you imagine... 5 stars
6/23/02 Baal I knew the ending before from imdb, but still was thrilled and entertained. Good movie! 4 stars
6/20/02 Ken Creepy, entertaining, but I saw the "twist" coming for a while. 4 stars
6/18/02 SlyyDaugg Good but not that good? My ass, I swear by this film. on my mamma. 5 stars
6/03/02 David A. Second only to DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW as a horror movie. You won't guess the ending! 5 stars
5/31/02 stud COOL 5 stars
5/30/02 Mo Anand Film was very splendidly done...takes us to the old haunted house story 5 stars
5/27/02 Film Guy Ok it was good but not that good 3 stars
5/26/02 Phoenix Wow! What a twist of an ending. Gripping from beginning to end. 5 stars
5/25/02 spyguy2 A superior film that recalls the classic haunted house movies of the 1930's and 40's. 4 stars
5/23/02 Naomi Psychologically scary with an ending that will make you want to see it twice. 5 stars
5/21/02 Danielle Ophelia Involving "thinking-person's" ghost story...so long as you've nothing against thinking. 5 stars
5/21/02 othree slow to follow at 1st, soft soken, then screaming, loved the susprise ending, Kidman = babe 4 stars
5/14/02 Stud One of the Best Horror films of this year. 5 stars
4/02/02 Mo Anand It's an old ghost story set in a modern thriller genre...I love it! 4 stars
3/25/02 Hanz no comment 4 stars
3/23/02 Brian Collins Brilliant !! A masterpiece 5 stars
2/28/02 Chowie Great film with a great twist-WICKED MATE! 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Spooky. Watch it. You'll be surprised. 4 stars
2/17/02 kitten Alright, could have been better 3 stars
2/16/02 Priscilla I loved this movie it was great 5 stars
1/15/02 David A. Second only to Dark Night of the Scarecrow as a horror film 5 stars
12/28/01 Brian Collins Brilliant !! A masterpiece 5 stars
12/14/01 Sian brillliant film and great twist at the end 5 stars
12/08/01 canoecarrier This could have been a superior film with a better director. See Polanski's "The Tenant" 3 stars
11/28/01 Hum intriguing 4 stars
11/24/01 viking "Sixth Sense" meets "Turn of the Screw" 4 stars
11/20/01 Neil One of the best movies of the year 5 stars
11/20/01 marymac Fabulous!! P-leease!--What Lies Beneath doesn't even hold a candle to this movie. 5 stars
11/20/01 WMunny ESTUPENDA 5 stars
11/20/01 Paulo Best Suspense Movie in Years 5 stars
11/16/01 Flávio Amaral Creepy. 5 stars
11/15/01 Sumixam disapointing to say the least, expected far more 3 stars
11/13/01 Alecia Would have been better if Sixth Sense had't alrady taken teh glorry 2 stars
11/13/01 sd Not as scary as What Lies Beneath. 3 stars
11/11/01 Beeeuuu!!! From what i understood, it was worth a look, too bad i had to see it in italian 4 stars
11/09/01 jawsboy not scary, but entertaining. good cinematography and acting, however a little disjointed. 4 stars
11/08/01 Button Nice old fashioned thriller 4 stars
11/08/01 Belinda Nicole's finest movie to date. What a talent she has become. 4 stars
11/08/01 Matthew Bartley A fine,fine thriller in the vein of Hitchcock 5 stars
11/06/01 Luisa Ramos One of the best movies of the recent years 5 stars
11/05/01 Carlos The others (the best of the year..) 5 stars
11/05/01 Bueller Who ever knew suspense could be so boring? This was like BBC does "The Sixth Sense" BADLY.. 2 stars
11/03/01 daniboy far better than sixth sense 5 stars
11/01/01 Catherine Schneider A suspense/thriller that actually thrills. 5 stars
11/01/01 cherilyn It was fantastic. I was completely hooked from the beginning. It has a wonderful twist! 5 stars
10/31/01 Lucila Cejas a completely unpredictable movie with a great performance by Nicole Kidman 5 stars
10/29/01 carla sanchez it was long...and dark...and darkly long and wait, was this the sequel to the sixth sense? 3 stars
10/09/01 GIBBO Just wonderful - from start to finish ... Nicole was fabulous 5 stars
10/07/01 Mark Davidson The best film of 2001 (along w/Memento); a brilliant, haunting, old-fashioned ghost story. 5 stars
10/03/01 zach this shit ruled, i cant remember the last time my leg hair was standing up 5 stars
9/25/01 M.C.A.S Good 4 stars
9/23/01 sharon loved it but the ending was to much like the 6th sense 4 stars
9/23/01 Koitus One of the better movies I've seen. I guessed the ending, when the husband showed, though. 4 stars
9/22/01 mjm103171 I liked the story line but it wasn't scary 4 stars
9/19/01 Studmaster Pretty bitching, but the view of the afterlife is very depressing. Puts me in the dumper! 4 stars
9/18/01 Gary I found it really boring... 2 stars
9/17/01 Fish Eye Good suspense movie. Gets slow for about 20 minutes though 4 stars
9/16/01 Alejandr Dorado La mejor película del año. Incluso mejor que 6th Sense. 5 stars
9/08/01 Deanna Long Suffers from comparison to 6th Sense, Doesn't obey any internal logic Beautiful to look at. 2 stars
9/05/01 Randy J. Redmond YAWN! 6th Sense rip-off w/PREDICTABLE twist! Fucking BAD! 1 stars
9/05/01 Jim Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz *huh* did something happen yet? No? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 3 stars
9/04/01 Unanon Too much Sixth Sense flavor, but nice suspense buildup. Almost worth it. 4 stars
9/01/01 pey really great story. it will change your paradigm of death. 5 stars
8/31/01 spaceworm it grows on you. the housekeepr is terrific 4 stars
8/28/01 Bueller Good movie, despite Kiddman. Suspenseful, but should have been better written. Predictable. 4 stars
8/27/01 mara z. great. 5 stars
8/27/01 empaler sweet 4 stars
8/23/01 Hotaine After the intense boredom I discovered I'd just watched "The Sixth Sense" 1 stars
8/22/01 Baphomet If u liked The Sixth Sense, u'll love this, cuz it's exactly the same... 4 stars
8/21/01 seldom scene suspense, see it in an uncrowded theatre 5 stars
8/19/01 G-Man Whoever wrote this is a fucking genius! 5 stars
8/19/01 Kassidy Damien if you're looking for a scary movie this is a good one 4 stars
8/18/01 vampyre9mm If A&E made a ghost movie, this would be it.... still pretty creepy. 4 stars
8/17/01 nik wicked 5 stars
8/15/01 Faith I loved this movie. Whoever said it was a piece of shit obviously saw a different film. 5 stars
8/15/01 Craig Alan Thompson A new twist on an old style. I loved it. 5 stars
8/15/01 da3dAlus Saw it last night, and I still get goosebumps this morning thinking about it. 5 stars
8/14/01 Heather Very, very scary 5 stars
8/14/01 Fred In the immortal words of Bill Hicks -- PIECE OF SHIT! 1 stars
8/13/01 Jerrrr Moving, beautiful, haunting, wonderfully acted/directed, and just plain SCARY!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/13/01 Zippernek Good subtle spooking with a smattering of in your face pants crapping. Jammin good time. 5 stars
8/13/01 Kurt Huber This is what you go to a theater for 4 stars
8/13/01 puckfreak The ending is a total rip-off of another "thriller" movie 2 stars
8/13/01 Dr. Laura Is A Bitch (Doo dah, doo dah) Scared the crap out of me. The ending is sweet. 5 stars
8/12/01 Greyjack Excellent. Actually sent a woman fleeing from the theater at the showing I attended. 5 stars
8/11/01 toneely cool movie!!! 5 stars
8/11/01 fg long, drawn out and boring, but good ending 2 stars
8/11/01 E-Funk Thrilling, hypnotic and scary as hell! This is Kidman's best performance. 5 stars
8/11/01 Bill H. Very Good! It's your classic ghost film with a very interesting twist at the end 4 stars
8/11/01 malcolm great stuff -- a million times better than any of the "Scream" films 4 stars
8/10/01 Heather Very creepy and scary movie, don't see this movie alone 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  10-Aug-2001 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  08-Nov-2001




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