Puja Miri Yajnik
‘The Others’ is a 2001 English-language Spanish psychological horror film directed and written by Alejandro Amenábar and produced by Fernando Bovaira, José Luis Cuerda and Sunmin Park. It stars Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston and others.
The story begins sometime around the end of the Second World War. A woman called Grace, played by Kidman, moves into an old-world, large mansion on the island of Jersey with her two children, Anne and Nicholas. Then appear three domestic workers: Mrs Mills, Mr Tuttle and a mute girl called Lydia. They have apparently come as an answer to an advertisement and are already familiar with the house, having worked there before. Soon, odd events start occurring; the staff have to adhere to strange rules. For instance: each of the numerous doors must be locked before the other can be opened and the curtains must always be drawn. Grace tells them repeatedly that both her children are allergic to sunlight and will die if exposed to it.
Slowly and skilfully, the audience is carried into a dark and frightening world. Kidman delivers a brilliant performance as the seemingly neurotic young mother, protective over her two photosensitive children and eternally waiting for her husband to come back from war. The atmosphere in the house is chilling in an extremely subtle manner. Grace hears mysterious footsteps… sometimes the sound of a piano playing. She orders the house to be searched. Their nan claims to have seen a group of people in the house, including a small boy; people who say that the house is theirs.
The film won seven Goya Awards, including for Best Film and Best Director. It was nominated for six Saturn Awards. Nicole Kidman was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress – Drama and a BAFTA Award for best Actress in a Leading Role. Amenábar was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay.
‘The Others’ is a must-see for people who enjoy the horror genre. It scares you without seemingly making too much of an effort; the cinematography is impeccable, specifically the light and shade play; stunning performances by almost every performer; and a final strange turn of events which gives the audience a lot to think about. Perfect for a monsoon evening when you are in the mood for a good scare.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.