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Overall Rating

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

12 reviews, 170 user ratings

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Others, The
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by Matt Mulcahey

"Effective but overrated"
4 stars

In the post-Scream horror climate, where self-reflexive storylines and tongue-in-cheek humor accompany the in-vogue gore of the 70s and 80s, we’re lucky a movie like The Others, an old-fashioned ghost story set in the type of gothic English estate that could’ve been a left-over set from an early Hammer horror entry, was even made.

And, make no mistake about it, the only reason this film was made is because of the success of The Sixth Sense, itself shamelessly overrated. That’s the way Hollywood has always treated the genre, viewing horror films as a lesser type of film unworthy of top actors, top directors or a reasonable budget.

But every now and then a studio horror picture will hit it big, allowing for a welcome but inevitably brief, resurgence in horror where talented filmmakers tackle a genre whose biggest triumphs in the years since Universal’s classic horror cycle have been on minuscule budgets by little known auteurs (i.e. Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, The Blair Witch Project).

As the Exorcist made it safe for Gregory Peck to battle the spawn of Satan in The Omen or Robert Wise to direct the possessed-child thriller Audrey Rose, big-budget ghost stories are all the rave, with The Others following What Lies Beneath and Stir of Echoes as attempts to cash in on the monstrous success of The Sixth Sense.

Trapped in a stately English mansion by the illness of her two children (they are photosensitive and even a few moments in the sunlight could be fatal), Grace (Nicole Kidman) spends her days teaching the children the Bible and waiting for her husband to return from the second World War.

Grace tries to keep her fear and worry hidden under an obsessively strict schedule, with everything in its place and every action dictated by stringent rules.

Grace’s tightly-wound grasp on her surroundings starts to slip when her daughter Anne (Alakina Mann), a fiesty, disobendient child who’s growing increasingly questioning of her mother’s obessively erratic behavior, claims to have seen other people in the house.

Grace initially disbelieves, but is soon turned around by standard haunted-house creepiness: locked doors left open, piano’s being played and the old standby, loud noises from the attic.

Adding to the increasingly creepy atmosphere is the arrival of three servants: a seemingly kindhearted housekeeper (Fionnula Flanagan), a mute cleaning girl (Elaine Cassidy) and an elderly gardener (Eric Sykes).

The moment the trio steps in the door writer/director/composer Alejandro Amenabar begins tipping his hand too early. Soon after their arrival, the servants begin acting a bit strange and it soon becomes very obvious that their lives and the stately mansion are intertwined. They cover up gravestones and utter things like “Should we tell her yet?”, ruining what could have been a surprising twist on the standard haunting-house tale.

With the odd behavior of the new servants adding to Grace’s already unstable paranoia, she soon finds herself searching the entire house, shotgun in hand, to find the “intruders”, but she’s always a second too late to catch a glimpse of what’s scuttling into darkened rooms or creeping down the halls just out of her sight.

These strange noises and the flighty behavior of her servant staff soon put Grace close to the edge of madness as her tightly knit, structured existence tumbles into disarray.

Despite it’s unique setting, The Others merely transplants many of the aspects of the recent spate of supernatural thrillers, including an ending directly cribbed from The Sixth Sense,

But what sets apart The Others is the level of talent involved in a genre that usually reeks of cheapness.

One of those talents is Nicole Kidman, who gives the caliber of performance rarely seen in the genre. Kidman’s character is a woman who has lost control of everything outside of the walls of her house, and all she has left is the obsessive control over what goes on inside her house. When she loses that she loses everything and slowly her sanity becomes questionable, but not with the type of over-the-top theatrics a lesser actress would’ve brought to the role. Kidman’s transformation happens in degrees, it’s in her eyes, it’s in small twitches, small idiosyncrasies that convey the changes in Grace’s psyche.

Kidman’s performance is backed by the amazing work of Alejandro Amenabar. Though, as a writer, Amenabar leaves something to be desired (you should be able to guess this “surprise” ending about halfway through the movie) it is as a director and as a composer that he leaves his mark.

There is no gore, no violence, and only a few of the patented “made you jump” sequences that usually accompany big budget horror. The horror comes in the building tension, the slow and steady unraveling of a mystery. It comes from the constantly moving camera, itself a specter circling and observing the action as it hovers in the shadows. It comes from the dark and shadowy production design, which make the house itself an entity, giving personality to the shadowy hallways and darkened staircases. It comes from the wonderful music, with classic Bernard Herrmann-like strings dancing about the action.

But in the end, once that tension and suspense has reached a fevered pitch, The Others resorts to an anti-climactic, predictable and disappointing finale.

So why has this movie, an unexceptional story turned into something worth seeing by a level of talent that usually doesn’t accompany horror films, been receiving such raves? Well, compared to the crap that’s piled up this summer, The Others is a breath of fresh air.

I equate this film’s dizzying praise to a bit Eddie Murphy did in “Raw” about women who make men wait for sex. The bit says something like “After waiting so long to get laid, when you finally do get it you think it’s best damn sex you’ve ever had. It’s like throwing a starving man a cracker, he’ll think it’s the best damn cracker he’s ever had.”

In a summer that has left moviegoers and critics starving for anything that isn’t a total waste of time, you throw them something halfway interesting and extremely well executed and suddenly it’s the best damn cracker they’ve ever had.

But let’s not forget were this film truly lies in the pantheon of horror classics. A spooky, sometimes frightening thriller whose derivative elements prevent it from being more than it is.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5495&reviewer=255
originally posted: 08/18/01 16:47:11
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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
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
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  10-Aug-2001 (PG-13)



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