The Others (2001) – Film Review


Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan
Certificate: 12

By Sarah Morgan

The weather has turned decidedly autumnal of late, which makes it the perfect time to watch Alejandro Amenabar’s supernatural chiller – it’s best viewed with a hot chocolate in one hand, while pulling a cosy woollen shawl around your shoulders with the other.

Amenabar may be Spanish, but he does a brilliant job of replicating the sort of gothic atmosphere depicted so brilliantly by Terence Fisher and other directors who worked for Hammer Films during the 1950s and 1960s, with help from cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe, who’s gone on to work on such projects as Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the Twilight film series and Thor: Ragnarok.

The-Others-Film-ReviewAmenabar first came to Hollywood’s notice via his 1997 movie Abre Los Ojos. Tom Cruise snapped up the rights to remake it as Vanilla Sky, with Cameron Crowe on board as writer-director. Cruise’s then-wife, Nicole Kidman, continued the family association with the film-maker by agreeing to play the lead role in The Others, his first English-language movie.

“Three mysterious servants”

She plays (with a flawless English accent) Grace Stewart who, in 1945, is residing in a fog-shrouded remote country home on Jersey, shortly after the end of the German occupation of the Channel Islands. With her are her two children who, due to being sensitive to light, must live in a twilight world where the curtains are always drawn.

Into their lives arrive three mysterious servants who take up residence, just as Grace’s daughter, Anne, begins to claim she has seen a young boy called Victor, his parents and an old blind woman in their home.

Grace becomes increasingly paranoid about the situation, while the arrival of her husband, who had been reported missing during the war, causes further consternation when it becomes clear he isn’t quite the man he was.

Meanwhile, it becomes clear that the servants know more about the situation than they’re letting on, and that Grace’s grasp on reality is beginning to slip…


“Gives viewers the creeps”

The Others picked up numerous awards and nominations following its release in 2001, including a couple of Bafta nods, and it’s easy to see why – it’s a slickly made horror movie that treats its audience with respect by never resorting to cheap scares. Instead, it’s the overwhelming foreboding feeling that really gives viewers the creeps.

Kidman received the most plaudits for her performance, but the small cast around her is equally as good, including Fionnula Flanagan as the lead servant, who says so much while saying so little. Christopher Eccleston has an eye-catching role as Grace’s long-lost husband, and it’s good to see comedy legend Eric Sykes playing it straight as the gardener.

This 4K edition of The Others is crisp. While the special features – which include several documentaries – add depth to our understanding of the film.

Bonus Features:
  • New Looking Back At The Others
  • New The Music of The Others
  • A Look Inside The Others
  • Visual effects piece
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum: What Is It?
  • An intimate look at director Alejandro Amenábar
  • Stills Gallery
  • Trailer
  • The Others is released on 4k UHD by STUDIOCANAL

    Leave a reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.