• James Rutherford

'The Others': An Expertly Crafted and Strikingly Atmospheric Gothic Ghost Story


Movie poster for the Spanish film The Others starring Nicole Kidman

"The Others" (2001) is an expertly crafted English-language ghost story from Spain starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart, resident of a remote country house on the Isle of Jersey circa 1945. Set during the immediate aftermath of World War II, the storyline focuses on Grace and her two young children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), as they await the return of the family patriarch Charles (Christopher Eccleston) from the battle front. Beset by a rare disease marked by extreme photosensitivity, Anne and Nicholas require special assistance in the form of three newly-hired servants: the venerable Bertha Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), elderly gardener Edmund Tuttle (Eric Sykes) and a young mute girl named Lydia (Elaine Cassidy). Despite their presence, however, Grace and her children are increasingly disturbed by ominous noises and unusual occurrences throughout their home, as they become increasingly fearful of a ghostly presence in their midst. Written and directed by Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar ("Abre Los Ojos", "The Sea Inside"), 'The Others' is a spellbinding cinematic endeavor, delivering palpable atmosphere and remarkable chills as it progresses toward a conclusion of stunning revelation. Highlighted by Kidman's terse and impassioned central performance, it's an entirely immersive and unexpectedly poignant tale of trepidation, discomposure and bittersweet acquiescence.

 

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