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The movie never specifies who exactly "The Others" are, but the movie's atmosphere is distinct
I like The Others. Even though it can be hard to really nail down who the titular "others" are. Throughout the movie, whenever you hear one of the characters refer to anyone as "the others", it sticks out and you start to think "Oh, that must be important." I have my own idea of what the title is referring to, but I can't say it without ruining the ending for those who haven't seen it.
The movie is a fairly intimate ghost story, following a woman named Grace (Nicole Kidman) and her two children, Anne and Nicholas (Alakina Mann and James Bentley). A new trio of servants show up at the beginning of the movie, and the young girl, Anne, starts seeing people and scaring her little brother. Or is she making it all up?
The movie has a few legitimate jumps, but mostly I like the atmosphere here. It's helped by the fact that so much of the movie has to be filmed in such low lighting since the children have a condition known as xeroderma pigmentosum. They're sensitive to light and break out in sores.
From a story-telling point, it could just be a convenient reason to keep the sets dimly lit, but it becomes more than that. The children are actually in danger whenever the light can't be controlled.
But beyond the atmosphere, the ending of this one really stands out. Some twist endings come out of nowhere and simply aren't satisfying. Sometimes you come across those endings that force you to re-contextualize the movie and those can be fun. This one is interesting because it actually causes you to re-contextualize many of the other ghost movies you may have seen.
The acting is well done and even the child actors are great. They hold their own quite well against the adult cast. You may recognize Fionnula Flanagan (one of the only actors I can find who've actually been on both Star Trek and Star Wars) and Eric Sykes (the ill-fated caretaker from Harry Potter 4) as Mrs. Mills and Mr. Tuttle and they do a great job here.
There really isn't much I can say aginst the movie. Tom Cruise was one of the Executive Producers for this movie and I believe this is the last project Cruise and Kidman did together before their highly publicized breakup.
It's also one of the only ones I ever saw more than once in the theaters. I can't remember how many times exactly, but I distinctly remember 3 times. Once on a date. Once to bring my dad (he showed me plenty of scary movies as a kid and I wanted to return the favor). And once with my brothers.
One brother in particular—let's call him ... Smarret—isn't normally that big a fan of scary movies and boy did he make sure that everybody in the theater had an experience to remember.
I give this one 9 / 10.
The Others is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and general scares.
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