The Others (Spanish: Los Otros) is a 2001 Spanish-American supernatural gothic horror film with elements of psychological horror. It was written, directed, and scored by Alejandro Amenábar (Regression; Thesis; Open Your Eyes).
Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) is a devout Roman Catholic mother who lives with her two young children in a remote country house in the British Crown Dependency of Jersey in the immediate aftermath of World War II.
The children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), have an uncommon disease, characterized by photosensitivity, so their lives are structured around a series of complex rules to protect them from inadvertent exposure to sunlight.
The arrival of three servants at the house — aging Mrs. Bertha Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), elderly gardener Edmund Tuttle (Eric Sykes), and a mute girl named Lydia (Elaine Cassidy) — coincides with a number of odd events, and Grace begins to fear there are unknown others in the house.
Anne draws pictures of four people she has seen in the house numerous times: a man, woman, a boy called Victor, and an old woman. Grace finds a 19th-century “book of the dead”, an album of mourning portrait photos of deceased family members from a previous generation, with some missing pages. She hears noises in the house. With the servants, she tries hunting down the intruders but cannot find them. She does not believe her daughter has seen the others until she hears the ghosts herself…
” …uses a deliberately steady pace to increase tension, gradually drawing viewers into its mystery until they are so engaged that they completely susceptible to the effectively executed scare tactics. Although the actual shocks are few and far between, the film maintains interest with its intelligent storytelling, and the rich atmosphere sustain the mood of supernatural dread throughout.” Steve Biodrowski, ESplatter
“…Alejandro Amenábar has the patience to create a languorous, dreamy atmosphere, and Nicole Kidman succeeds in convincing us that she is a normal person in a disturbing situation and not just a standard-issue horror movie hysteric.” However, he noted that “in drawing out his effects, Amenábar is a little too confident that style can substitute for substance.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“The scares here are low-key but immensely effective, thanks to the film’s dreamlike pacing and creepy atmosphere. (Remote Victorian country house, anyone?). Amenábar uses his subtle way with clues and metaphors to alert us that all may not be entirely as it seems, yet he never telegraphs the surprise ending.” Dan Epstein, Rolling Stone
“Shot in oppressive sepia amid near-darkness (Grace’s children having a rare ailment that precludes exposure to sunlight), Amenábar racks up the tension to unbearable levels in a spooky shocker that’s worthy of any comparison with M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense.” Neil Smith, BBC
” …man, till it nears the climax, this movie crawls. The ever-glowing Kidman doesn’t really cut it as a tormented woman on the brink of madness, although she does get to deliver some chuckle-inducing lines as when she refers to WWII’s warring factions as “the goodies and the baddies”. Steve Newton, Ear of Newt
- Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart
- Fionnula Flanagan as Bertha Mills
- Christopher Eccleston as Charles Stewart
- Elaine Cassidy as Lydia
- Eric Sykes as Edmund Tuttle
- Alakina Mann as Anne Stewart
- James Bentley as Nicholas Stewart
- Alexander Vince as Victor Marlish
- Keith Allen as Mr. Marlish
- Michelle Fairley as Mrs. Marlish
- Renée Asherson as the Old Lady