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The Others
The Others (Soundtrack)

The Others Review

Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar .
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston, Eric Sykes and Elaine Cassidy.

Written By: Rob Paul
In this time, with the past two decades of slasher flicks bombarding cinemas, it is nice to know that attempts are being made by serious filmmakers to elevate the art of horror cinema to where it once was. The horror film used to be a prize gem back in the days of black and white films. There was Dracula, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Black Cat and so many others that took time to build atmosphere for the audiences to sink into, to be absorbed by before realizing, perhaps this is not where they want to be.

In 1999 M. Night Shymalan proved there was an adult hunger for such movies that could provide big box-office returns. Now, Alejandro Amenábar (director of the original Vanilla Sky Abre Los Ojos) brings us a somber moody film shot in such grays one feels as if they are watching black in white.

The premise seems simple enough. World War 2 has just ended and Grace (Nicole Kidman) holds out hope for her husbands return. She waits in a mansion with her two children Nicholas (James Bentley) and Anne (Alakina Mann) both of which are allergic to sunlight. This, by the way, is one of the smartest additions to a movie in a long time. It creates a reason for the movie to be so dark, why the house is so dim and creepy. Another stunning revelation from the director though, is that the light can be just as frightening as the dark. A scene where the children scream in terror as light begins to infiltrate the house, putting their lives at risk will put the viewer on the edge of their seat.

We are introduced to the storyline and the necessity of the children to avoiding light through three eerie characters. These characters, a nanny, a gardener and a young mute girl all seem to hold the secrets to the house, secrets that only now are becoming apparent to Grace.

I would hate to say too much because this is one of those films that when watched should unfurl itself, allowing you to step along with it, sometimes you may be a step ahead of it but the result will be the same. One of cold creeping horror that makes its way along your spine, like a traditional ghost story told around a July bonfire.

Nicole Kidman gives another great performance, her second of the year following Moulin Rouge, proving she has a long career with many surprises in her still to unleash on audiences. The little girl who plays her daughter, Akalina, is also stunning and supremely creepy in this movie, though I doubt if she has yet to be allowed to see the film in its entirety.

The other thing I love about The Others? Amenábar pulled a Chaplin and composed his own stylish and creepy score for the film. At only 29 Amenábar is proving to be more than a triple threat (writing, directing, composing) but he is a future force in filmmaking still in its roots.

Perhaps his entire career so far is worth searching through now to see what other gems have passed the majority of us by over the years already.

The Others is a 3.5 out of 5 star film for atmosphere, Kidman's performance, and the ability to keep the movie 'smart' without having to resort to gore to bring in an audience.


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Evil Ash

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